Preacher Mountain occupies a central position east of the ridge containing Mt Si and Bessemer Mtn, and west of the Snoqualmie peaks. It offers a nice trail approach, and great summit views. Most of the brush can be avoided with careful route finding, although you're going to encounter some huckleberry and slide alder after leaving the Rainy Lake trail. Preacher Mountain from Big Snow Mountain
Russian Butte, Mt Si, Bessemer, Twin Peaks from Preacher Mtn summit
Looking East from the Preacher Mtn summit
From Seattle take I-90 East past downtown North Bend to Exit 34. Turn left at the Stop. In 0.6 mile turn right onto SE Middle Fork Road (#56). Drive 12 miles to the Middle Ford trail head, and turn right into the parking lot.
A Northwest Trail Pass is required to park at the Middle Fork trailhead.
Rainy Lake Route
Rainy lake from outlet
From the trailhead, cross the bridge and hike about 0.6 miles along the river. Immediately after crossing Rainy Creek, go left on the Rainy Lake trail, which is in good condition. At about 3200', stay left and cross a small creek. Continue on the trail another 1/2 mi, and drop down 100' to the Rainy Lake outlet, 3.75 mi, 3800'.
Upper Rainy Lake
Climb up the E-W ridge that starts at the lake outlet, and follow the ridge for about 1/4 mi until it peters out. Choose a path to minimize the brush, and avoid a couple of small rock walls. Head for the small upper lake, staying below the rocky ridge crest. Again, it is possible to avoid most of the brush, and a couple of steeper rock features.
Ridge behind upper lake
Skirt the small upper lake on the right (west) and head for the start of the ridge south of the basin. Work around the right side of the ridge, and ascend it heading east through mainly open slopes, eventually turning SE toward the summit. Walk through talus and heather to the summit.
Looking back at upper lake from ridge
Most of the brush can be avoided with care, keeping this route down to a BW2
About 12-13 mi, 5200' feet of gain. It took us about 6.5 hrs to the summit, one hr on the summit, and five hrs down.
External Linksmidforc.org route description
(Click on the bottom link "View All Described Routes" and then the "Preacher Mt (5924)--Rainy Lake Route" link.
yellowleaf.org route description