Grew up in the shadow of Pilchuck and got to know it like the back of my hand. To my "trail hiker" friends, you may want to go to the "trip report" section for a couple alternate routes to spread your off-trail wings.
Hiked to the top with my 7-year-old sister and about a million other people! Trail was solid ice, very slippery. Saw some people take some hard falls (including myself!). Carried my sister in my backpack on the way down :P
Trailhead was only thirty miles from my home the last two summers. Crowded place, but enjoyable.
With no other viable options on a rainy day in May my climbing partner and i climbed this via the regular trail and a bunch of snow traversing. Vowed we'd come back later to do the "other side". We did in September and we were pleasantly surprised at the aesthetics and rigorousness of this route. Only another couple of folks on the route but we figured the ratio of people on the trail route to us to be at least 50 to 1.
Thick fog on the way up, clearing to beautiful sunshine.
We hit the trail by headlamp at around 9pm and summited around 12pm or so. Turned off the lamps as soon as we broke the main tree line to hike by the moon light.
I was able to get by with four-point instep crampons for the blue ice that occured in spades on the main trail. My two buddies had full crampons. We bivied just below the lookout station in one of the snowy clearings.
Up at sun rise to a beautiful clear sky yeilding unobstructed views on all four points of the compass. Plus, our buddy in his one-prop airplane buzzed us as we were packing up!
Quick decent, we were back in town in time for church.
Great day hike, but I think it would be good to go on a sunny day.
This is a fun hike during the summer. Moderate elevation gain and short distance. In early spring, I like to come here with my snowboard for some boarding fun. Also a good place to practice your glacier travel skills in spring (though there's no glacier, one can still find many areas to practice self arrest, crevasse rescue, team rope travel, snow rappel, etc by going off the main trail) while also going for the summit.
Windy with low visibilty. We hung out in the lookout a bit before heading down.
This was a fun climb. Cool little lookout cabin at the top. Couldn't see anything but snow though.
Great beginners Mountain climb. Went with my wife to celebrate our anniversary in 1993 and went with her and our son and friends in 2002. The restored lookout is amazing, perched on a pile of rocks at the top. Impossible to get lost on the new trail. The ladder to the top, kind of takes the mountain climbing feel of it, but its still a great climb. Great views at top on a clear day. Not very scenic in the early stages of the hike (clear cut and the old ski slopes).
Nice easy scramble for the day.
Great for early season – beat the rush although it can still be like I5.
Despite forecasts for significant rainfall, it was completely dry the entire trip. The view to the west and southwest was relatively clear on the way up, but visibility was very poor at the summit. Ominous cloud cover blocked views of Sheep Mountain, Bedal Peak, and Glacier Peak. However, weather was mild, and snow conditions were perfect. Even though there was little snow fall this past winter, I was surprised by how much snow there still was. Great day for climbing, but not so great for views.
Another blue-sky day up the mountain, signed the registry at 11:55 AM. Met a fellow named Frank. Stayed up at the Lookout for a few hours until sun began to get low in the west...alone on a mtn. top. Appears to be about 8 feet less snow than last year at around same time of winter.
in the granite high-wild alpine land . . .
Wonderful 5 hr hike with leisurely picnic lunch on summit boulders basking in sun with sister and Pete. Great dog-friendly hiike with the added bonus of picking berries on local farms en route back to Seattle.
Reached lookout tower w/ my 10 month old Bull Terrier Abbey, her 1st summit. Enjoyed many off-trail excursions across smooth granite slopes to plateaus providing exceptional views.
This was one of those two or three crystal clear days the puget sound area receives each year. The trail was easier than expected, and the views much greater than anticipated. A good close up look at Three Fingers, and my first look at Glacier Peak. Seattle was clear as a bell, and even Mt. Rainier looked close, when its almost 150 miles away.
A new Mt. Pilchuck Registry with a few laminated photos as well as a little
verse, has been placed in the Lookout atop the summit today (6-26-02), for
those venturing up there - provided by McPilchuck - just enjoy. On a wildlife
note: there is a yearling bear right beneath the ladder that from reports has
been there for the past week - took some great photos of him. The trail still
has lots of snow, the North face winter route (which we came down) is still
OK and glissading as well, but not really recommended anymore this
season...brush replacing the snow.
in the granite high-wild alpine land . . .
We made a quick run up Pilchuck via the main trail route. Upon the summit, we simply set our sleeping bags out on the wrap-around deck of the lookout tower overlooking the steep north face. we experienced relatively warm temperatures and nice winds up to 35 mph which began around 11pm and lasted until dawn. clear skies in all direction provided for an awesome view of the lights of Everett and Seattle in the distance to the south. Beautiful sunrise in the morning coming over the cascades from the east. an awesome experience overall.
This is the perfect class 2-3 day hike that would be adequate for the whole family and would most certainly prove to be very rewarding. The summit lookout tower provides spectacular views of the surrounding peaks as well as Puget Sound. The main trail leads off south from the main parking- lot and weaves through nice, quiet trees for about 2 miles until opening up to reviel the north face of the mountain. From there, the trail crosses south-west over small snowfields that exist almost all-year round. rounding west around the north face, the trail follows up the north-west ridge for about 1/4 of a mile to cross onto the west face that provides a great view of Mount Rainier to the south. From there, the trail winds through boulders just below the summit. fairly easy navigating through the boulders upon which the trail is clearly marked up to the lookout tower.