Well-marked and sporting some serious views of seldom-seen Glacier Peak, Mount Dickerman is the darling of the Mountain Loop Highway. Drawing heavy crowds in the summer, you won't find yourself alone on this hike, but all the foot traffic is for good reason: Mount Dickerman delivers a you-have-to-see-it-to-believe-it summit experience.
The trailhead is found on the east end of the large gravel parking lot. Begin gently, meandering eastward through second growth fir and hemlock. After nearly one-half mile of this enjoyable forest romp, you'll hit a sharp bend in the trail back to the west. Let the games begin. From here on out it's all uphill, courtesy of a well-pounded trail riddled with more than 50 switchbacks in just over three miles. Believe it.
The uphill work is certainly strenuous, but absolutely worth it once you eclipse the two-mile mark and views begin to open up to the south, looking across the valley to Big Four Mountain. In the shoulder seasons, this stretch in the trail also features small streams and nearby waterfalls, making for plenty of distraction as you climb.
At just over three miles you'll enter alpine meadows full of wildflowers and (seasonal) blueberries and huckleberries. Passing through the meadows, you'll soon begin climbing again in earnest towards the western ridge. It's here that you'll enjoy your first glimpse at the summit destination above, as well as views to the north peaking down into Perry Creek Valley.
A final push of steep switchbacks along the ridge brings you up to the rocky summit with plenty of room to find a spot and soak up those big-time views. Look north to white-crowned Mount Baker, east to Glacier Peak, south to Del Campo Peak and Big Four Mountain, and west to Mount Pilchuck, Three Fingers, and the flatlands beyond. Absolutely wonderful.
Permits & Tips
Northwest Forest Pass required. Toilets available at trailhead. No drinking water. Use caution on the summit – the north face of the peak is very steep with enough exposure to be deadly. The trail is often used year-round (snowshoes required in winter), but be sure the Mountain Loop Highway is plowed and open during the snow-filled months (click here to find road conditions from Verlot to Barlow Pass).
How to get there
Head North on I-5 to Exit 194 and merge onto US-2 E.
After two miles, exit left onto WA-204.
Stay on WA-204 for two miles to Highway 9. Take the left onto Highway 9 toward Lake Stevens.
Turn right onto WA-92 to Granite Falls.
In Granite Falls, turn left onto N Alder Ave and continue onto the Mountain Loop Highway.
You'll hit the Verlot Public Service Center (get your maps and passes) in 11 miles, and the trailhead is 15 miles further (26 total miles from Granite Falls).
The large parking lot is on the left (north), clearly signed from the highway.