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Washington State Parks

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USA Parks
North Cascades Region
Mount Pilchuck State Park
Mount Pilchuck State Park © Walter Siegmund (talk) / CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons
Mount Pilchuck 5340 feet, 1628 meters north slope snowfields unnamed waterfall
Mount Pilchuck State Park © Ron Clausen / CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons
Mount Pilchuck seen from Lake Stevens, WA area
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Granite Falls, Washington   98252
(lat:48.0508 lon:-121.785) map location

Phone: 360-902-8844
Mount Pilchuck State Park is a 1,893-acre day-use park that features mountainous alpine terrain with diverse scenic and recreation attractions. The main recreational attraction of the park is the three-mile trail to the summit and the old fire lookout. The trail begins at 3100 feet above sea level and winds through an old growth forest to alpine heather and large rocks at the summit of Mount Pilchuck 5324 feet above sea level. The hike is strenuous and in the summer can be very crowded. At the top is an incredible panoramic view of the Cascades, Olympics and Puget Sound. The trail is usually covered with snow until midsummer. The park's most notable feature is a fire lookout building that sits atop the mountain. The fire lookout is on the National Historic Building register and has five interpretive plaques which identify the mountains seen from the building. There also are displays about the history of the lookout.
History of the Area
The word "Pilchuck" comes from the Native American name "red water," for a creek in the area. Mount Pilchuck was likely among the "long ridge of snowy mountains" as described in the journal of English explorer George Vancouver during the spring of 1792. This peak stands well apart from the main Cascade Mountain range. In 1918, the Forest Service built a fire lookout on Mount Pilchuck's summit. The Lookout was staffed until the 1960s. From 1957 to 1980, Washington State Parks administered a ski area here that was run by a concessionaire. The ski area closed in 1980 due to poor annual snow conditions. The area currently is managed in partnership with the USFS and Everett Mountaineers. The Forest Service maintains the trail and trailhead, and State Parks and the Mountaineers maintain the historic lookout building.
A Discover Pass is required for vehicle access to Washington state parks for day use. For more information about the Discover Pass and exemptions, please visit the Discover Pass web page.

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

There is a small uncovered picnic and camping area near the trailhead.
1. Mount Pilchuck Trail: This is the most popular trail in the park, stretching 5.4 miles round trip with an elevation gain of about 2,300 feet. It leads to a historic fire lookout tower at its peak offering panoramic views.

2. Lake Twenty-Two Trail: A moderate hike that covers around seven miles and offers stunning views of waterfalls, old-growth forests and alpine wetlands along with beautiful vistas from Lake Twenty-two's shores.

3. Heather Lake Trail: An easy-to-moderate four-mile loop through lush forest leading up to serene Heather lake nestled against Mt.Pilchuck's eastern slope.

4. Boulder River Waterfall Hike: A relatively flat hiking path spanning approximately eight-and-a-half miles alongside scenic riverbanks culminating in breathtaking waterfall sights.

5. Boardman Lakes Loop:This challenging route spans over twelve mile long featuring two pristine lakes surrounded by dense woods; ideal for experienced hikers seeking solitude amidst nature.

6. Old Robe Canyon Historic Interpretive Site Trails: These trails offer glimpses into Washington State history as they wind past remnants of former railway lines used during logging operations early last century while also providing access to Stillaguamish River banks.

7. Big Four Ice Caves trail: Short but rewarding one:mile trek which ends at Big Four Mountain base where ice caves can be observed (caution advised due safety concerns).

8. Mt Dickerman Summit Route: Steep yet satisfyingly strenuous ten mile journey ascending towards summit boasting spectacular mountain range panoramas on clear days.

9. Ashland Lakes via Walt Bailey: Moderate difficulty level six mile track passing through verdant meadows before reaching twin Ashland lakes set amid tranquil wilderness setting.

10. Goat Flats & Tin Can Gap: Demanding eleven plus mileage high altitude terrain traversing rocky ridges,alpine fields eventually arriving at Goat flats known for summer wildflower blooms and Tin Can Gap offering close up views of Glacier Peak.

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Thousand Trails Thunderbird
26702 Ben Howard Road
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Nearby Hotels

Access from either north or south: Take I-5 to Snohomish-Wenatchee exit 194. Drive east on Highway 2 for six miles and then north on Highway 9, following signs to Granite Falls. Continue east on the Mountain Loop Highway 11 miles to Verlot. From the Verlot Forest Service Ranger Station, travel one more mile east on the Mountain Loop Highway and turn right (south) onto Forest Service Road 42. Continue 6.9 miles to the trailhead.

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Washington State Parks