Take the main and only Mt. Pilchuck Road from the Mountain Loop Highway just past the Verlot Ranger station. At road's end and parking area (mile 7?) commence your hike on the one and only main trail starting at the trail sign.
About a mile before the summit, cut left over the north face of the mountain, leaving the trail, and heading east through the year-round snow fields. You'll be about 1,000 feet directly below the summit lookout cabin. As you traverse over the north side, stay as high as possible, otherwise lower vertical cliffs will thwart your route. You will come to a saddle.
As you step onto the saddle ridge, look to the right for the Gunsight--a very narrow near-vertical canyon leading about 1,000 feet up to join the main trail at nearly the summit. A painted yellow arrow with the word "Gunsight" can be found on a nearby flat rock for confirmation of direction. Only when you reach the very bottom of the canyon can one detect a barely-discernible goat trail which switchbacks its way from bottom to top.
At the top, you'll emerge just below the final switchback section of the main Pilchuck trail which leads to the summit--barely 5 minutes from the lookout cabin.
Trail Map Link
View Mount Pilchuck: Main Trail & Saddle Routes in a larger map
Crampons and Ice axe for early-season. Normal hiking boots after snow melt-out. Normal 10-essentials for safety.
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