The Mount Margaret Trail is a classic hike right off Interstate 90. For many Mount Margaret is secondary attraction to nearby Margaret Lake, Lake Lillian and Twin Lakes. The route itself from base to the summit is a YDS Class 1 walkup and most of the trail is in very good condition. There are only spoty views going up the main trail, but once on the steeper, less used summit trail, views open up on the ridgeline and become at there best on the true summit. Views of Mount Stuart and the Teanaway to the east as well as Rainier to the south along with partially tree covered views to the west and descent views to the north make this mountain a worthwhile destination.
VIA FROM I-90: Get off on I-90 and head north where the road will turn right east and turn to FR 4832. It will then become a dirt road. Veer left at the Y intersection onto FR 4934 and take it roughly a mile past a number of switchbacks. There will be a sign on your left showing the Mount Margaret trailhead parking.
VIA THE YDS CLASS 1 MOUNT MARGARET TRAIL
Total Roundtrip Distance: 6 miles
Total Elevation Gain: 2100 feet
From the parking area you must walk 100 yards up the road from which you came to reach the true trailhead. DO NOT TAKE THE FAINT TRAIL IN THE BACK OF THE PARKING AREA. IT IS A TRAIL TO NOWHERE!!!! Once up the road 100 yards make a left on a well groomed but gated dirt road. About a half mile up the road at around 3800 feet this road changes over to a well marked trail. Continue up the trail as it climbs at a moderate pitch up to the ridge area at about 5200 feet. Go past the turn off to Margaret Lake and roughly 0.3 mile on the right onto a well wore (but for some reason blocked by some sticks) bootpath/trail. Take this trail up over the false summit, which has two highpoint areas with views down into the saddle and then up steeply to the true summit where views of Mount Stuart and the eastern Cascades as well as the northern Cascades await you.
This is a walk up in the summer. Therefore only essential hiking gear is needed. In winter this mountain will require snowshoes and or depending on conditions, trekking poles, ice axe and traction devices. It becomes a different type of mountain in winter and often the trailhead begins much lower due to snow so be prepared in winter.
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