Green Mountain Trail #782


Green Mountain alpine, photo by Scott Morris

For a little over the first mile this trail winds through mixed forest then enters old growth.  When you emerge from the forested land you enter expansive meadows thus how this mountain got its name.  In the earlier hiking season these meadows are teaming with every wildflower imaginable and with that butterflies.  When cooler nights return to the mountain in fall this fills with vibrant colors.

Green Mountain alpine in fall, photo by Richard Morell

At one mile the trail enters the Glacier Peak Wilderness.  The trail climbs steadily and at 2.5 miles, about 5,200 feet, it descends down to two small tarns (lakes).  Just below this is a backountry toilet and some camping sites.  Please only use the designated camping sites which have the fire rings and please help protect this fragile alpine.

Hiking Green Mountain Trail, photo by Richard Morell

This is a good place to take a rest and gear up for the remaining steep switchbacks ahead.  It's hard work from here on out but as you go up the views just get better and better.  You'll hear the shrill whistles of the marmots that make these steep slopes their home as they warn others of your approaching.  Some call the local marmots the Green Mountain Greeters

Looking up at Green Mountain Lookout, photo by Scott Morris

Look up and catch views of Green Mountain Lookout perched high on its mountain as you ascend the trail.  The first Green Mountain Lookout was just a camp back in 1919and  subject to some pretty harsh living conditions.  Later in 1933 the Civilian Conservation Corps built an L-4 cab on the mountain.  It served many years safeguarding the surrounding lands from fire.  The lookout was later abandoned when aerial fire detection became more prevalent.   Later this building was staffed by Wilderness Rangers to aide public visitors that came to this area.  In 1987 it was added to National Register of Historic Places.

Looking toward Glacier Peak from Green Mountain, photo by Richard Morell

The structure after so many harsh conditions began to fail and was closed to the public.  Due to such public support and the concurrence of the Washington State Historic Preservation, the Forest Service received a grant to save this building and rehabilitation began in 1999.  The project plagued by heavy snows in 2000 became apparent the lookout needed to be disassembled and moved, each piece being carefully tagged so they could be reassemble it later.  The lookout was lifted by helicopter and taken to the Darrington Ranger Station for restoration.  In 2003 and 2006 severe storms washed out roads, one being the Suiattle River Road, access to Green Mountain.  By 2009 the lookout was flown back and reassembled on its mountain the following year a this lookout was threatened by a lawsuit from a conservation group and wanting it dismantled.  Once again overwhelming cry of public support came to this lookout.  It took an act of Congress and the signature of the President to ensure this cherished lookout remain high atop its mountain and part of American heritage.


Type of Trail:  USFS
Length: 4 miles
Elevation: 3,500 - 6,500
Level of difficulty: difficult

Best Seasons: Mid-summer - Fall

Seasonal Interest:
  • Summer - high mountain vistas, wildflowers, historical lookout
  • Fall - high mountain vistas, blueberries, fall colors, historical lookout

General Information:

History:  Destination to Fire Lookout

Wilderness restrictions: Yes, enters the Glacier Peak Wilderness

Restroom: None

Bring plenty of drinking water, there is very little sources for water on this trail.

Getting there: From Darrington drive north eight miles on State Highway 530 to the Suiattle River Road 26.  Turn right and follow this road for 20.2 miles to Forest Service road 2680 on the left (north). Continue on this road for six miles to the trailhead.  Parking is very limited at the trailhead, do not block the turnaround. 

Also see:

Mount Baker-Snoqualmie National Forest

Videos:

Views:

Views From Green Mountain

Night Sky Time Lapse

History:

National Trust For Historic Preservation

Former Lookout Tells His Story