Here's your chance to hike to the top of a mountain!
Mt. Pilchuck rises 5324 feet above sea level, but all you have to gain is 2200 feet.
When you get to the summit, the 360 degree view will take your breath away. You will see a lot of the major Cascades peaks, including Baker, Glacier Peak and Rainier. You can also see the Olympics and the San Juan Islands. Oh yeah. There's a restored fire lookout at the summit, also.
There may be some snow left, but it should be minimal. You definitely won't need snow shoes. Yaktrax or microspikes would be useful (just in case).
One thing you won't find on this trail is solitude. This is one of the more popular trails, and it can get a bit crowded. However, I don't think that you will care once you see the view.
We'll leave pretty early for this one (7:30 AM) to beat the crowds, and because it's a fairly long drive (84 miles).
Note that we are meeting at the Federal Way Park & Ride because our destination is in the north. I am only asking for $10 per passenger, because we are meeting in Federal Way. If you get a ride from Tacoma or Olympia, you should give your driver a little more.
Update: Maryjane volunteered to lead a second group, so I am doubling the number of people to 24! What this means is I will lead the first group as before. Maryjane and 11 others will wait 15 minutes before starting their hike. This way, we can keep the group size down to the maximum of 12. FYI, you won't mind the waiting too much, because the view is great just from the parking lot!
Distance: 5.4 miles
Elevation Gain: 2200 ft
Maximum elevation: 5324 ft
Pass required: NW Forest Pass (not the Discover)
More information: www.wta.org/go-hiking/hikes/mount-pilchuck
Chuck's car: Grey Land Rover LR4 (an SUV)
Disclaimer: Trailside is not a professional guide service. Our leaders function as facilitators only, to enhance your outdoor experience. Reports of trail and weather conditions are based on best available information, are subject to change, and are no guarantee of fitness for any particular purpose. You may join us on this hike at your own risk. Keep in mind that hiking involves risks and weather changes quickly in the mountains. You are responsible for your own safety and the more prepared you are, the better the chance you will remain safe.