In a state with so many places offering a day's walk to big, peaky views, Green Mountain still makes the short-list of Washington's all-time finest hikes. From woods to meadows to panoramic views and even a historic lookout, it just doesn't get much better than this.
This hike is rated as "hard" by Alltrails. Please consider your hiking abilities before signing up for this hike.
We will hike at a medium pace and stop to enjoy the scenery.
Distance - 8.5 miles round trip.
Elevation gain - 3300 feet. High point - 6500 feet.
Pass required - none.
Views - Amazing Spring colors!!!
SCHEDULE: 7:30 am - Ashway park and ride. 7:40 am - leave for trailhead. 7:00 am - 9:30 am - arrive at trailhead. 9:45 am - start hiking. 12:45 pm - lunch at the top. 1:30 pm - return trip. 4:30 pm - arrive at cars. 5:00 pm - leave for park and ride. 7:00 pm - arrive at park and ride.
ALL TIMES ARE ESTIMATES.
WHAT TO BRING: Good boots, lots of water, snack or lunch for the top, hat, hiking poles optional, sun screen, bug spray, rain gear if needed, $20 for the driver for gas, sun glasses, snack and beverage, and a great attitude. It will be a fun day.
ROUTE: The first mile and a half or so winds through forest with the occasional Douglas-fir big enough to warrant a second look. Emerging from the woods, it's hard to know what to admire first, the big views of pointy White Chuck, hulking Glacier Peak behind you, or the lush meadows ahead and above which are gorgeous in every season. In the spring, there's no doubt why they called it Green Mountain (though the peak here is not Green Mountain but its shoulder); in the summer there's a flower show with an extensive guest list (orange Glacier Lilies and red and yellow Columbine dip their heads, scarlet Paintbrush, Blue Bells, purple Penstemon, and fields of white Valerian) as well as plenty of biting bugs to pollinate them all. In the fall, the colors are so vivid they hardly seem real. But there they are, glowing red and orange around every corner in the autumn sun. If you're the type that likes that sort of thing, you're going to want a fully charged camera battery. Or two. Beautiful as it is, this trail is all business. Switchbacking steadily for another mile or so brings you to an expanse of trailside blueberry bushes we call The Opium Fields for their power to cause hikers to forget all about the views ahead, the setting sun, and everything else besides the abundance of blue, tangy goodness. In the fall, it's hard to believe this swath of glowing red leaves paired with sweeping views is mere miles from the car. Working your way around this shoulder peak, you'll drop down 100 feet (this will be far more noteworthy on the way back) through fields of heather, which bloom purple in the summer, to a couple of small ponds and established campsites at around 5200 feet. Look up to see Green Mountain ahead of you, with the lookout now visible, 1300 feet and a mile of walking above. It's hard work from here, and the trail is steep, but the view of Cascade peaks improves with every switchback until it crescendos at the summit ridge where peaks to the north and east become visible. Marmots might whistle at you from here, and the occasional Ptarmigan mama might put on a show to distract you from her fuzzy-feathered offspring in the tall grass.
From Ash Way Park & Ride to Green Mountain Rd via I-5 N and WA-530 E/State Rte 530 NE.
2 hr 25 min (88 mi)
Driving Directions From Darrington travel north on State Route 530 for 7.5 miles, turning right immediately after the Sauk River bridge onto Forest Road 26 (Suiattle River Road). From Rockport drive south on SR 530 for 11 miles to FR 26. Follow FR 26 first on pavement, then on gravel for 19 miles, turning left onto FR 2680. Continue 6 miles to the trailhead, near the road end (elev. ~3200 ft).