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USA Parks
North Cascades Region
Mount Pilchuck State Forest
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The Mount Pilchuck State Forest is a verdant paradise nestled amidst the stunning Cascade Range. This sprawling forest offers a majestic and diverse landscape, characterized by towering evergreen trees, lush green forests, and numerous sparkling mountain streams. It is renowned for its challenging hiking trails and breathtaking vistas, particularly the panoramic views afforded from the summit of Mount Pilchuck. The forest is home to an array of wildlife, including deer, elk, black bears, and various bird species, making it a haven for nature enthusiasts and photographers alike. Whether one seeks a thrilling adventure, peaceful solitude, or a chance to connect with the wonders of the natural world, the Mount Pilchuck State Forest is a captivating destination filled with beauty and tranquility.
History of the Area
1. Logging Era: In the late 19th and early 20th centuries, the region around Mount Pilchuck, located in the western Cascade Range, saw extensive logging operations. The forest provided valuable timber resources, primarily for the construction of homes and buildings in rapidly growing cities like Seattle.

2. Conservation Movements: Recognizing the need to preserve the area's natural beauty and protect the watershed, conservationists and local communities began advocating for the creation of a state park. They argued that Mount Pilchuck and its surrounding forests were worth preserving for future generations.

3. Mount Pilchuck State Park: In 1921, the Washington State Legislature designated an initial 1,920 acres of land around Mount Pilchuck as a state park. It was the first designated state park in the western Cascade Range. Over the years, more land has been added, resulting in the present-day Mount Pilchuck State Forest.

4. Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC): During the Great Depression in the 1930s, the Civilian Conservation Corps played a significant role in developing Mount Pilchuck State Park. CCC workers built roads, bridges, trails, and a fire lookout tower on the mountain. Some of these structures still exist today and can be visited by hikers.

5. Fire Lookout: The original fire lookout tower on Mount Pilchuck was constructed in 1934 and renovated in 1976. It provided a crucial vantage point for spotting forest fires, allowing for a prompt response to prevent the spread of wildfires.

6. Recreational Activities: Over the years, Mount Pilchuck State Forest has become a popular destination for outdoor activities. Hiking to the summit of Mount Pilchuck is a popular trail, offering breathtaking views of the surrounding mountains and forests. The park also provides opportunities for camping, picnicking, and wildlife viewing.
1. Mount Pilchuck State Forest offers backcountry camping with no designated campsites.
2. Campers can pitch tents anywhere within the forest boundaries, respecting private property and protected areas.
3. There are no facilities or amenities; campers must practice Leave No Trace principles.
4. Camping is free but a Discover Pass for vehicle access to state lands is required.
5. The Lake 22 Trailhead provides nearby hiking opportunities before setting up camp in the forest area.

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Mount Pilchuck State Forest is located near Arlington, Lake Stevens and Monroe

1. Mount Pilchuck Trail: A 5. 4-mile round trip trail, known for its panoramic views and historic lookout tower at the summit.

2. Heather Lake Trail: This is a moderate 4. 6 miles out-and-back hike featuring beautiful wildflowers and stunning lake views.

3. Lake Twenty-Two Trail: An approximately seven mile loop that offers scenic forest landscapes, waterfalls, creekside paths, alpine wetlands and an impressive mountain view of Mt Baker-Snoqualmie National Forest.

4. Gothic Basin - Weden Creek / Foggy Pass Trails: These trails span around nine miles with steep inclines leading to breathtaking vistas of Gothic Peak's rugged terrain.

5. Pinnacle Lake Backcountry Ski Route: Primarily used in winter months; this route spans about five miles through dense forests offering serene snow-covered scenery.

6. Bald Mountain via Ashland Lakes Trailhead: Approximately eight-mile long trek showcasing lush greenery along multiple lakes before reaching Bald Mountain's peak.

7. Twin Falls Loop Via Old Robe Canyon Historic Railway Grade & Centennial Tailrace Tunnel Routes: Roughly six-miles total length providing historical railway remnants amidst verdant foliage alongside Stillaguamish River.

8. Mallardy Ridge Hardwoods Hike: About three-mile stroll under towering hardwoods on Mallardy Ridge presenting vibrant fall colors during autumn season.

9. Lake Boardman Nature Walk: Short one mile walk suitable for families or beginners circling tranquil waters of picturesque Boardman lake surrounded by old-growth trees.

10. Old Sauk River Interpretive Site Loop: Easy half-a-mile interpretive nature trail looping near riverbank highlighting local flora/fauna information boards throughout journey.

Visitor Comments, Memories and Reviews
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1. Start on I:5 N from Seattle.
2. Take exit 194 for US:2 E toward Snohomish/Wenatchee.
3. Continue onto US:2 E/Snohomish River Bridge, follow signs for Wenatchee/State Route 204E.
4. Use the left lane to take the State Hwy 9 ramp to Lake Stevens/Arlington.
5. Turn right onto WA:92 E (signs for Granite Falls).
6. After reaching Granite Falls, continue straight onto Mountain Loop Highway/Mt Loop Hwy until you reach Verlot Public Service Center.

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Washington State Parks