MOUNT PILCHUCK STATE PARK
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.
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