The drive from my home in Kirkland takes about 1 ½ hours to the Mt Pilchuk trailhead. It is a scenic drive through Lake Stevens and Granite falls. Lake Stevens is where the actor Chris Pratt is from if you didn’t already know. My buddy who went hiking with me kept reminding us of this fact for some reason and now it’s stuck in my head. The last 3 miles to the trailhead is mostly dirt road with occasional large potholes. If you have all wheel drive with good ground clearance, this shouldn’t be an issue for you. If you’re driving a car you will have to go slower to avoid some of the large potholes. You can get by fine without all-wheel drive, it just gives you more assurance. In the winter time the trail gets a good amount of snow, so you definitely want all wheel drive available. I recommend picking up a forest pass at the ranger station if you don’t have one. Unless you don’t mind the $5 ticket you will receive for not having one like I did. Woops!


The hike itself I would so is moderate to difficult. Most of the trail is well kept, has stairs, ladders and rocks to climb which makes it easier. Dogs are allowed but must be kept on a leash. As you get towards the top, it gets more challenging as you have to scramble across rocks to reach the fire look-out spot.

pilchuk firelookout


Dogs cannot reach the very top unless you are brave and they are small enough to carry. I would recommend leaving your dog at the bottom where it is much safer. Unfortunately, we were surrounded by clouds so we didn’t get the view we hoped for, but now I am determined to come back on a clear day because you can tell the view would be amazing. Overall, I give this hike a 4.5 out of 5 for how much I enjoyed it.


We stopped in Granite Falls on the way back for a beer and bite to eat. The place we went is called Buzz Inn Steakhouse. I highly recommend going here if you hungry or thirsty after your hike. It’s nothing fancy but affordable prices, good menu and everything tasted great. You will thank me later.


$6 Mug of beer at Buzz Inn Steakhouse

Buzz Inn Steakhouse website below:

If you want additional details of the hike, I shared the WTA website link below. I

Featured Image credit: Norm Buckley