Location: Glacier Peak Wilderness, Suiattle River Road
Land Agency: Mount Baker-Snoqualmie National Forest
Roundtrip: 8.0 miles
Elevation gain: 3,100 feet
Green Trails Maps: Cascade Pass, WA-No. 80
Contact: Darrington Ranger District: Mount Baker-Snoqualmie National Forest
Notes: wilderness rules apply
Access: From Darrington, travel north on SR 530 for 7.5 miles turning right onto FR 26 (Suiattle River Road) immediately after the Suak River Bridge. Follow FR 26 for 18.8 miles turning left onto FR 2680. Then continue 6.0 miles to trailhead.
Good to Know: exceptional wildflowers; dog-friendly, Glacier Peak Wilderness, historic fire lookout
Appropriately if not creatively named, Green Mountain boasts acres upon acres of emerald slopes. But come mid-summer within all of that green is a dazzling
display of wildflowers of all colors. But it’s hard to focus on Green Mountain’s brilliant floral arrangements when its jaw-dropping scenic sideshow dominated by gargantuan snow cone Glacier Peak vies for your attention. One of the finest views in the North Cascades, Green boasts an historic fire lookout too.
Starting in forest, steadily ascend. Soon reach meadows previewing what lies ahead. Working your way up a ridge radiating from the peak, enter the Glacier Peak Wilderness. Continue through subalpine forest, meadows and berry patches—crest the ridge and drop 100 feet to a pair of small ponds. Now start climbing again entering a big verdant basin. Steeply traversing the basin at first, the trail then heads for a ridge crest above the emerald slopes. Views exponentially expand as you grind towards the summit.
Working your way up a shoulder of the mountain frequently take breaks to catch your breath by admiring the myriad
of blossoming flowers along the way. At 4.0 mile reach Green’s 6500-foot summit crowned with an attractive restored and on the National Historic Register, 1933-built fire lookout. Wipe the sweat from your brow and gaze out over a sea of green valleys and ridges capped by waves of white summits. Directly below you to the east is Downey Creek with its unbroken tracts of ancient forest. And directly below you to the south is the deep U-shaped Suiattle River Valley. Trace this wild waterway from its icy origins on Glacier Peak all the way to its confluence with the Sauk River. And if Glacier Peak rising above the Suiattle Valley doesn’t take your breath away, the hundreds of craggy, snow and glacier capped peaks surrounding it certainly will.
For information on lodging and other attractions near Green Mountain, visit www.snohomish.org
For more information on this hike and plenty of others in the Suiattle River Valley and throughout the area, check out my Day Hiking North Cascades Book.