Green Mountain, Mt. Baker National Forest-Snoqualmie Trip Report
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September 5, 2004
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Directions: From Darrington drive north about 5 miles to where Highway 530 crosses the river (don't worry you won't miss it). Instead of following 530 on the far side of the river take Suiattle River Road (Forest Service road 26)about 19 miles to Forest Service road 2680. The trailhead is at the end of this road.
Trail notes: We'll we finally made our way to Green Mountain after finding out last weekend that the Mountain Loop Highway was closed. So this time we went in from the Darrington side and did indeed make our way to Green Mountain.
This trail starts off easily enough making its' way through what appears to be old growth timber, though the bulk of the trees seem to young for such to be the case. Still there were no real stumps to speak of so maybe this is right.
Still the weather today was supposed to be partly cloudy with sun breaks in the afternoon. The forecast was in fact right the beginning of this hike after a brief inspection of the washed out section of Forest Service road 26, had us starting at 11am. When we did this hike everything was in the clouds so visibility was pretty sketchy and this shows in the photos
The first part of the trail is very easy, and the trail maintained. After about one half hour you will make your way out of the trees to green meadows which are on a pretty steep slope. Fret not the trail navigates the terrain with great ease. For the next bit the trail switchbacks, working its way up to the top of the ridge, which coincidently isn't as high as the peak you will probably be fixated on; no not Glacier peak the one above you
After another 20-30 minutes or so you will make your way back into some forest and the trail levels even more. Then the trail takes a quick steep to get over a notch into the Green Mountain valley and a little lake there.
From the lake you will spy Green Mountain ahead of you, and though it looks far is really not that far away. From here the trail begins to steepen getting ever steeper as you near the upper reaches of the trail.
Take heart as the going becomes steeper the reasons for taking a break increase too. There are Marmots everywhere! You will hear their high pitched warning whistles as you make your way through the green meadows. Old marmots, young marmots, everywhere a marmot! Don't know that I have seen this density of Marmots anywhere.
After leaving the bulk of the Marmots behind you slip into a patch of trees, gain the ridge edge and the going becomes steeper still, though only a couple minutes separates you from the top. Hmmm, a perfect time to look around and see what you can spy. Today, the views weren't so good for us, though it appears on a clearer day the view of Glacier Peak would be outstanding.
On effort to payout I think this hike scores pretty well. Still, it wasn't quite the uphill I was looking for, and the weather wasn't giving much in the way of view out. If you are looking for solitude, this hike isn't a prime candidate. However, it isn't exactly Mt. Si either, and this is Labor Day weekend... Four stars.
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Reviewed By: fire513 on Wednesday, July 25, 2007 @ 08:41:13 PM
Great hike. The views are amazing. The last part will get your thighs burning but it is well worth the work.
Don't let the bugs stop you
Reviewed By: Anonymous on Monday, August 15, 2005 @ 06:10:11 PM
Review: Don't go without bug spray in late summer. The flies are really bad and won't leave you alone. If you do have insect repellant, it works great and makes this a wonderfull hike.
Reviewed By: TravisArket.com on Thursday, July 21, 2005 @ 07:02:34 PM
Review: (copied from my website)
The day started off with the weather a nice 80 degrees and not a cloud in the sky. I decided to make the best of the beautiful day and go for a scenic hike. Opting for something a little toned down on the difficulty scale, as I just wanted to have a scenic hike, not so much a hard work out. What I got was the best of both!
I sent a link to Nesse, with a ton of pictures from different trails all over the northwest and asked her to choose one. She chose a few, but finally decided on Green Mountain. Now, the pictures that I saw from Green Mountain were taken on a cloudy day with lots of fog. It still looked very interesting and I had always wanted to do that hike, so this gave me a little more incentive!
Well the journey starts off with trying to find directions to the place. As its not exactly your standard mountain loop highway trail.
After writting down the 15 step directions, I headed off in the truck.
54.2 miles later, I reach Darrington. From Darrington (which is the middle of nowhere) I drive another 30 miles north, into the mountains. As I approach my 30 mile mark I keep an eye out for the next turn. Whats that? Oh it looks like a side road... made of dirt... and it has my street name. Great.
I take the turn, now im off road wondering where this is going to take me and just how deep I go. Just as that thought passes through my mind, I see a nicely carved sign that says "Green mountain: 23 miles" So 23 miles off road, along side a really spectacular river, deep into the bush, I spot a new sign! "Green Mountain Trail head: 6 miles" with an arror point to an even more offroad, road.
I take this little branch off trail, and it goes up, and up, and up. Picture this, a road barely wide enough for 1 car, doing steep switch backs up the sound of a mountain with a spectacular view of the surrounding mountains and a nice big river below. The drive to the trail head was an amazing trip in itself. Its also noteworthy that in my time from leaving the "main" road, I didnt see one other person or car for the entire 30 miles to the trail head. And I saw a only a handful of cars the previous 30 miles.
So now I get to the trail head, where I park and get ready to start hiking. The trail starts off by going into a large pine forest. Tall trees all around, but spread out enough to have a great view of the forest floor. It reminded me of a background for a bad early 90's japanese ninja movie... or another bad sequal to the mortal combat line up.
After hiking just over one mile in the trees, you see a fox hole style exit. There is a hill, so all you see is a tunnel and the trail ends at the sky. Rather cool way to exit the forest, I thought. Leaving the trees behind, you are immediately welcomed by the lush, bright green meadows of the hill side. With a wonderful view of the near by mountains and a single, large, ice capped mountain. From this point on, the hike takes place all through meadows.
Hiking up not too difficult switch backs, along side this green hill. You finally make it to the top, then you drop down on the other side, into a valley. Wild flowers, eagles, frogs, marmonts, florescent green ferns, crystal clear ponds, creeks, and brilliant rock formations all greeted you at once. After making your way down into the valley, you can see the summit of green mountain. The cute trail running all up the side, welcoming you to hike it. This is where the hike gets a bit more difficult. From here you have a 1 1/2 mile trek of heavy inclines. But rest assure, its not in vain!
After passing through the low land meadows and frollicking with the wildlife, I made my way up the inclines. Every time I stopped and looked back over the valley and the surrounding mountains I just had to take a picture! It was so pretty, yet words nor pictures can discribe its size and its overwhelming force it has on you. Another few switch backs and you've reached some cool rock ledges that you can climb out on and rest for awhile, taking in the north cascade view. Go up a bit more and you're almost at the summit! Then when youre legs are just about to say stop and rest, you see a peak. So you go a bit further, and then you see a nother little peak, so you go even further! Sure enough, there you have it, the peak of Green Mountain.
A 360 degree view of the cascade mountain range. With Mt. Pilchuck, Mt. Baker and many others right at your finger tips. The peak is actually really narrow, and you could easily fall off. It was a great place to finish my hike up and have a picnic! After eating and taking in the view, with a few great pictures I decided to try to go into a giant bowl that was made from loose sand/ash and big rocks. There was snow at the bottom and I was determined to get to it! When I started causing relativly large avalanches of medium sized boulders and my feet started sinking into the ash up to my ankles, I thought it might not have been a good idea. However I kept on! Making it to the bottom where I played in the snow for a few minutes then headed back up the steep, ashy, bowl! From there I headed back down Green Mountain and back home.
Overall it was a spectacular hike, and I recommend it to anyone that likes the pacific north west and likes the out doors. It wasnt that tough and it deffinatly had its pay off, the entire way!
Made it to summit!
Reviewed By: treadlightly on Tuesday, June 21, 2005 @ 10:04:17 PM
Review: I did this hike earlier in year when there was still too much snow to make it to the summit.It felt great to get up there and finish what we started months ago. The hard work paid off with wonderful 360 degree views at the top. The hike has a pretty decent elevation gain, but it's broken up nicely. The first few miles through the woods gain elevation swiftly, but once out of the woods the switchbacks are long and pretty easy. The last stretch to the summit really kicked my butt, but was well worth it. We saw 7 marmots while there. Looked just like the gophers on caddyshack. Views of the suittle river valley and cascades were priceless. I went on sunday (the 19th) and the weather was perfect. Visability was great, blue skies and fluffy white clouds. Probably around 70-75 degrees out. The stream crossings were a blessing, I drenched my bandana in them to cool off for a bit. Wildflowers just starting to poke up, I'd like to come back in a few weeks and see them really take off. A few snow patches right before you hit the lake, nothing difficult or ugly about them. Forest Service road in pretty good shape, a little rocky for the last stretch to the trailhead for my civic. Not bad if I drove 10 miles an hour. Someday I'll own a 4x4....Pretty uncrowed for such a nice sunny day. Maybe the gravel road keeps the crowds away. Not that I'm complaining! I'll be back to this one for sure.
Nice March day
Reviewed By: treadlightly on Sunday, March 6, 2005 @ 08:22:08 PM
Review: I'd love to hit this hike again once the snow melts. Trail was clear up until the last third of it, where all the sudden there was quite a bit of snow and keeping the trail was difficult. Some day I'll have the equipment to be able to fly up the trail with or without snow, but not today. We just stopped and had lunch before we got lost in the snow, then headed down. Views heading up the switchbacks were awsome, I can't wait to go back and make it to the summit. I was a little dissapointed I didn't see any marmots. Maybe not their time of year? Road getting up to the trail head was in better shape than I expected. We were able to cruise along without any real trouble. The trail starts out pretty steep, but once you come out of the woods and out into the meadows it gets better. The views are worth the work!
Reviewed By: discostu on Saturday, October 9, 2004 @ 06:03:47 PM
Review: I had to give this one a 4 hiker. Maybe because of the wide open areas with sun beating down, maybe because of the bugs not allowing a moments rest, heck, driving up that 20 mile beat up road was a workout. Luckily, the views were so awesome, my wife and I were compelled to continue onward. The views from the top are excellent. Plenty of water spots for the dog. Great hike.
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