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John Guilford's Hikes

Green Mtn on 1999-10-02

Date: 1999-10-02

Location: Green Mtn

People: (including myself): Pam

			My Alt.	Real Alt.	Miles
Left home:	9:40
Darrington:	10:30
Trailhead:	11:50
Start:		12:00	3440	3500		0
Out of trees:	12:50	4400
Back in trees:	1:35	5120
Ridge top:		5300	~5300		2
Ponds:		1:50	5160			2.5
Ridge line:	2:40	6060
Lookout:	2:55	6360	6500		4
Leave:		3:45
Ponds:		4:20	5160			5.5
Enter trees:	5:00	4400
Out:		5:40	3500			8
Arlington:	7:25
On the way to the trailhead, we stopped at the ranger station in Darrington to pick up the trail parking permit.  There, we found out that the ranger station was closed.  We had to go back to Darrington and got the permit at the Sauk River Trading Post (south side of road in down town Darrington.) This delayed up a little bit. 

Drive north out of Darrington about 8 miles and turn right onto the Suiattle River road.  Follow this about 19 miles to the Green Mtn rd (on the left).  The first part of the Suiattle River road is paved (except for occasional patches of gravel road) and is in good condition.  About 2/3's of the way it narrows and turns to dirt.  Even so, the condition was pretty good (for a dirt road) and one can make pretty good time though not as good as on the paved section.  The Green Mtn Rd is about 5 miles long, well marked, and somewhat rougher.  Compared to some of the dirt roads I've driven on in the Cascades, I thought it was in pretty good shape - occasion wash board and a few (though not many) pot holes.  This road switchbacks up Green Mtn, ending just after the trailhead. 

At the trailhead I decided to leave me wallet in the truck.  While trying to find a spot under the dash to leave it, it fell down behind the plastic side panel next to the driver's left leg.  Great! I then spent ten minutes trying to contort my arm enough to get it back out.  I could touch it, but not grab it.  Pam then tried, without success.  I finally found that I could remove a screw and pry the plastic panel out far enough to get the wallet out.  We decided that that made a good hiding spot and left it there for the duration of the hike. 

[ PIX2 ] The trail starts off ascending through a pleasant glade of re-growth trees (i.e. not old growth).  [ PIX1 ] One is in the shade mostly here and it was cool.  The trail is soft and dry and almost spongy.  After gaining 1000' though the open forest, the forest suddenly disappears and the trail enters a hillside meadow of brush.  It was too late in the year for berries to be out, but it looked like it might have been good berry terrain earlier in the year.  Here one is in full sun and it is noticeably warmer.  Looming off to the SSE, Glacier Peak displays its splendors. 

After ascending the hillside, the trail passes back into trees, over a ridge, and drops down to a couple ponds[ PIX3 ].  This is where we first started seeing snow, which was slick in places but never very deep.  After the pond, the trail continues climbing, soon entering another brushy hillside.  At this point you can see the final ridge line and the lookout high above.  The trail switchbacks up the hillside, eventually joining the ridge and leading to the lookout. 

When we were there, they were in the midst of working on the lookout, replacing its foundation[ PIX4 ].  They had air-lifted in supplies, tools, and a generator (which thankfully wasn't running when we were there).  We back tracked down the ridge a bit, dropped over the side and found a nice rock for eating lunch on.  The peak was somewhat crowded with half a dozen people working on the lookout and maybe another dozen scattered along the ridge.  The ridge and lookout aren't that big so it feels more crowded than the summit of Dickerman, for example. 

[ PIX5 ] There are some good views, particularly of Glacier Peak, and looking into the north Cascades. 

Despite what others reported, the bugs weren't bad during this hike.  At the car before the hike we found that they would start to congregate, but they never got bad enough to really bother me.  While hiking they were for the most part non-existent. 


[ PIX2 ] Meadowy (lower) hillside above treeline. 

[ PIX1 ] Glacier Peak from Green Mountain. 

[ PIX3 ] Pond, upper hillside, and Green Mtn. summit from first ridge. 

[ PIX4 ] Green Mtn. lookout under renovation. 

[ PIX5 ] View looking east from summit (Dome Pk?)

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Last updated on: Mon Jun 8 16:50:16 PDT 2015