in a perfect world of yancies: Mount Pilchuck

04 October 2010

Mount Pilchuck

Sun, Trees, Clouds
Had perfect fall weather this weekend, so we went out of town to hike Mount Pilchuck.

The cool thing about the weather (aside from the fact that it was pleasantly cool most of the way), was that we started out below the clouds. And then we hiked through them:
Below the clouds

And then we were above them:
Yancy above the clouds

Emily above the clouds
That's Mt. Baker there on the left, if you're curious.

Pretty good fall colors:
Fall Colors

We were headed to the Mount Pilchuck Lookout. Can you see it up there on top of the mountain?
Mt. Pilchuck Lookout
Yeah, me neither. But it's there! I swear!

Now we picked this hike because a) it's along the Mountain Loop Highway, which was featured in a recent Seattle Times story, and b) our copy of 60 Hikes Within 60 Miles: Seattle listed it as a great hike of "moderate" difficulty.
I mean, I guess. We did it, it was fine, but what the heck is "difficult" like?

(And just for the record, the Forest Service lists it as "most difficult". The above picture is an extreme example, but there sure were a lot of rocks for a "moderate" trail. I don't mean to sound whiney, and mostly we loved it. But still.)

Great views, though, that's for sure. Here's old Tahoma again:
Rainier above the clouds

Parking Area -->
Yeah, it's a couple of miles away, but as the sign in the tree makes clear, the parking area is to the right, okay?

The lookout itself has amazing 360-degree views. Apparently on a clear day you can see all the way to Puget Sound.
at Mt. Pilchuck Lookout
Not too bad on a cloudy day either!

Now Emily didn't join me up in the Lookout. Why? Well, for one thing the trail was mobbed with people. I had to wait for ten or so people to leave the Lookout before I could go up, and I shared it with ten more people while I was there (and of course another ten were coming up as I was leaving...).

Plus it's a bit of a climb, as this photo I'm borrowing shows:

(Photo from the New in the NW blog.)

But it sure is cool. Here's a blowup of that picture from the Washington Trails Association page:

(Photo by Norm Buckley, seen on the Washington Trail Association site.)

Great stuff. So happy to live here and have these opportunities!

Speaking of living, I should go earn mine--better grade some papers. Have a great week reader!


  1. Magnificent!

    Awe inspiring!

    (Jealousy producing.)

    Mom D.

  2. Thanks for commenting. I'm gad the photos turned out so well!

    And, hey, maybe we can put this on the list for your next visit :)