Blowout Mountain is a special gem in the Cascades Mountains north of Rainier. The peak is not very popular amongst hikers in the region but they really do not know what they are missing. On a map Blowout Mountain just looks like a bump on the Pacific Crest Trail with the trail coming within a hundred feet of the summit. But it is not a bump that you want to miss. On a clear day from Blowout Mountain you can clearly see Mount Stuart, Mount Daniel, Overcoat, and last must some would argue most importantly Mount Rainier to the south. If you include all the summits near and far from this summit you are talking about over a hundred visible summit from this peak.
Looking east from Blowout Mountain (9/13/13)
But the peak itself is not hard to get to. As of September 2013 the road up to Blowout Mountain is in excellent condition and is very scenic and well worthwhile in its own right. It is a gravel road but is presently easily doable in a passenger vehicle. The peak is also not difficult to reach being that it only takes a hiker 800 feet elevation gain and 4 miles to get to the summit. Because you are on the Pacific Crest Trail the entire time there are no real steep areas on the trail make rising and lowering and elevation real easy for a person to travel. Ideally this mountain is excellent for someone who is just beginning hiking for the first time. Blowout Mountain is also an excellent hike for children as well. They will love the amazing views without suffering the elevation gain that they might have otherwise suffered on more popular peaks such as Mount Si or Tiger Mountain. Blowout Mountain maybe a very easy hike but it is highly recommended.
Zephyr2us heading down Blowout Mountain (9/13/13)
Mount Stuart in the distance (9/13/13)
Nice shot of Rainier from the road (9/13/13)
VIA THE GREEN PASS PULLOUT: From 410 head south of Greenwater for two miles. Make a left onto FR 70 and go 7 miles. Make a left onto FR 7030 (great condition gravel) and go 5 miles up to an intersection. Once you hit an intersection make a right onto 7036. As of 2013 this road is in great condition and is very doable in a passenger vehicle. Stay on this road for roughly 10 miles as it passes over the ridge giving off amazing views of Mount Rainier to the south and Mount Stuart and Daniel to the north. There will be a nice turnoff at the top of the ridge right by Green Pass.
Another classic road shot (9/13/13)
Map of the route up Blowout Mountain.
The route is very basic. Once you get off of Green Pass you want to take the Pacific Crest trail as it rises up the ridge all of the way to the summit. The trail itself is in excellent condition and is very easy to follow. Once you get near the summit area and notice the trail in the distance starting to drop in elevation you want to make a right into lightly used boot path. It might not be noticeable. If that is the case just make a right and do a very light bushwhack up to the obvious summit rocks where excellent views await. For an average person this total hike with take 2 to 3 hours roundtrip, not including the time that you spend on the summit.
BearQueen gets her summit
There currently is no permit required to camp or to park at the trailhead.
When to Climb
Summer and fall before the snow falls is clearly the best time to do this peak. Ideally you would want to do this peak on a fairly clear day because many of the peaks you will be seeing are off in the distance. Keep in mind that the road up to the trailhead is snow-covered until at least June. The peak is doable in the winter, however many of the road are actually closed in winter due to winter snowfall. Therefore the effort needed to climb this peak would go up dramatically.
Camping is allowed anywhere on the mountain. You can camp around the summit area. There are no permits required for camping in this region. However please leave no trace.