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.Want to support Washington State Parks? Get involved by joining a friends' group. For more information, visit the Friends' Group web page.
The park is open year round with no restrictions on hours. The trailhead area and first 3/4 mile of the trail are on U.S. Forest Service (USFS) property and require a USFS trailhead parking pass.
Winter Schedule for all Washington State Parks
Don't move firewood: Please protect the Pacific Northwest from invasive species by obtaining or purchasing your firewood at or near your camping destination (within 50 miles). Firewood can carry insects and diseases that threaten the health of our western forests. You can make a difference by buying and burning your firewood locally. For more information, visit online at www.dontmovefirewood.org or the Washington Invasive Species Council website.
The Discover Pass now can be used on either of two vehicles!Annual pass: $30
One-day pass: $10
(Transaction and dealer fees may apply)
A Discover Pass is required for motor-vehicle access to state parks and recreation lands managed by the Washington State Parks and Recreation Commission, the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife and the Washington State Department of Natural Resources. Exemptions:
Your purchase of the Discover Pass supports recreation on state lands. However, the Discover Pass is not required if you are camping or renting overnight accommodations, for the duration of your stay at that state park. For additional exemptions and more information, please visit the Discover Pass website
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.
Mount Pilchuck downloadable pdf map #1
List of all downloadable Washington State Park maps
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.
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.
There are currently no interpretive opportunities at this park.
|• Bird Watching|
• Mountain Climbing
• Rock Climbing
• Wildlife Viewing
Mount Pilchuck has geological significance as being a mountain of shale rock. A number of lakes and streams linked by a series of trails provide visitors alpine fishing and hiking. The higher elevation provides snowshoeing, and mountain climbing in winter months.
Free days at state parks
: Visit Washington state parks for free. The Discover Pass is not required to visit a state park on ten designated free days in 2013.
The 2013 State Parks free days are as follows:
Jan. 21 – In honor of Martin Luther King Day
March 30 – In honor of Washington State Parks' 100th birthday on March 19
April 27 and 28 – National Parks Week
June 1 – National Trails Day
June 8 and 9 – National Get Outdoors Day and Department of Fish and Wildlife Free Fishing weekend
Aug. 4 – Peak season free day
Sept. 28 – National Public Lands Day
Nov. 9 through 11 – Veteran's Day weekend
Please note: A Discover Pass is still required to access lands managed by the Washington State Department of Natural Resources and the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife during State Parks free days. For more information, please visit www.discoverpass.wa.gov
Full list of events
at Washington State Parks
Picnic and Day-use Facilities
There is a small uncovered picnic and camping area near the trailhead.
|Mammals||Birds||Fish & Sea Life|
• Deer or Elk
|• Crows or Ravens|
|Physical Features|| ||Plant Life|| |
| ||• Douglas Fir|
Park photo gallery