Location: Glacier Peak Wilderness
Land Agency: Mount Baker-Snoqualmie National Forest
Roundtrip: 21.0 miles
Elevation Gain: 3,700 feet
Green Trails Map: Holden, WA- No. 113
Contact: Darrington Ranger District: Mount Baker Snoqualmie National Forest Notes: Northwest Forest Pass or Interagency Pass required
Access: From Everett, head 85 miles east on US 2 to Coles Corner turning left onto SR 207. At 4.0 miles bear right at a Y-intersection onto the Chiwawa Loop Road and after 1.3 miles turn left onto the Chiwawa River Road (FR 62). Proceed for 22.5 miles to trailhead at road’s end
Good to Know: dog-friendly, backpacking, wilderness rules apply, exceptional wildflowers
Okay—it’s no easy day hike to the easternmost summit located entirely within Snohomish County. But it is a fairly easy overnight trip. The long trail leading up to the short spur to the Flower Dome is maintained well and well graded. Beautiful old-growth forest will keep you well shaded at the trail’s lower elevations, while stunning alpine views will keep your mind occupied as you climb higher. And once you reach the sprawling meadows at Buck Creek Pass, a mere 1.0 mile away from the Flower Dome, you’ll be glad you’re spending the night. You may want to spend several, especially after you watch the evening sunlight dance off of the icy and snowy face of Snohomish County’s highest and grandest summit, 10,541-foot Glacier Peak
From the trailhead located near the old mining now ghost town of Trinity, follow the Buck Creek Trail for 9.6 long but fairly easy miles to Buck Creek Pass. Catch your breath and reel in your jaw staring at majestic Glacier Peak. Now continue on the Buck Pass Trail north for .3 mile descending a couple of hundred feet in a splendid meadow. Locate the Flower Dome Trail taking off left and follow it .6 mile to the 6,332-foot open summit. Then kick back and enjoy the views. Glacier Peak! The Suiattle River Valley, Plummer Mountain, Helmet Butte and the Liberty Cap. There’s a lot of future exploring you can do here in Snohomish County’s wildest and remotest reaches. So, while soaking up those views, get out your Green Trails maps and start planning an extended adventure!
For information on lodging and other attractions in Snohomish County, visit: www.snohomish.org.
For detailed information on other great Snohomish County hiking destinations including many in and near county population centers; pick up your free copy of the 2015-16 Hiking in Snohomish County booklet (available at county visitor centers) or download one for free here.
For more details on this hike and other long-distance hikes within the Glacier Peak Wilderness and beyond-pick up a copy of my best-selling Backpacking Washington (Mountaineers Books)