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Mount Dickerman

North Cascades

Location

North Cascades -- Mountain Loop Highway
View map below

Length

8.2 miles, roundtrip

Elevation

Gain: 3950 ft.
Highest Point: 5760 ft.

Rating

4.63 out of 5

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WTA worked here: 2021
 

Parking Pass/Entry Fee

Northwest Forest Pass
 
 

Nestled deep in the heart of the Mountain Loop, Mount Dickerman offers superb views of all the major peaks that make up this ring of awesome summits. It’s a fine mountain in its own right too; you’ll ascend nearly 4,000 feet on your way to the top.

This is a three-season trail. In late fall, before snow closes the Mountain Loop Highway short of the trailhead, it makes a spectacular snowshoe route. In late spring and early summer, it is the quintessential view hike. And in late summer and early fall, it offers a treasure trove of plump blueberries.

Start out at the parking lot Dickerman shares with the Perry Creek trailhead. Large as the parking lot may be, it fills to capacity and beyond on sunny weekends. For the first two or so miles, the trail switchbacks through dense forest. The first part of the trail is enlivened by the occasional rocky outcropping and a spot or two where fallen trees practically form a roof over the trail. After those first two miles, breaks in the forest canopy begin offering up tantalizing views of nearby peaks, like Big Four and Vesper.

In another two thirds of a mile, the trail breaks out into the open for a brief series of quick switchbacks before it dives north and heads into a mostly flat section. With the exception of a few zig zags, the trail heads almost straight ahead as it traverses a broad shoulder from the southeast flanks of the mountain to the peak’s west ridge. Unless it hasn’t rained in a very long time, the flat terrain and exposed terrain combine with spring runoff to make for a muddy half of a mile.

The trail hits the ridge and stays at or near it for a while. Where it intersects the ridge, be sure to stop and enjoy the views to the north. Particularly striking is the view up the ridge to the cliffs of Dickerman’s summit, hanging high above the Perry Creek drainage. After a third of a mile, the trail heads east, away from the ridge and out into the open, south-facing slopes below the summit.

Here, fields of blueberries bask in the sun, making it one of the first places in the Cascades where this scarce crop fully ripens.

The trail resorts once again to switchbacks on its steady climb through the meadows, with a brief pause for a side trail to a vantage point with direct views of the summits of Gothic Basin and Monte Cristo. In another third of a mile, you reach the summit ridge.

Several groves of trees force a bit of a choice here: stay below the summit and gaze south or stand on the very top and gaze north. There is no bad decision, since views to either direction are spectacular.

The summit drops away sharply to the north into the adjacent valleys between Stillaguamish Peak, Mount Forgotten and Twin Peaks. The occasional mountain goat may play peekaboo from the rocky ledges below the summit, but be careful when playing along; the north side of the summit is nothing but a sheer dropoff.

Looking back to the west and north, you can scan through all the major peaks of the northern Mountain Loop: Three Fingers, Whitehorse, White Chuck, Pugh and Sloan, while Baker, Shuksan and Glacier Peak hover above and seemingly just beyond. On your way down, the visual trek continues through Monte Cristo, Del Campo, Morningstar, Sperry, Vesper, Big Four, and Pilchuck.

With the possible exception of Hidden Lake Lookout, this is the finest summit view around--a rare chance to get so close to so many other summits at the same time. Mount Dickerman may have asked a lot of you to get here, but it will have more than held up its end of the bargain.

 

Mount Dickerman

Map & Directions

Trailhead
Co-ordinates: 48.0538, -121.4900 Open map in new window

Trailhead

North Cascades -- Mountain Loop Highway

Mount Dickerman (#710)

Mt. Baker-Snoqualmie National Forest, Darrington Ranger District

See weather forecast

Guidebooks & Maps

Day Hiking: North Cascades (Romano - Mountaineers Books)

Beyond Mt. Si

John Zilly

Adventure Press

100 Hikes in Washington's Glacier Peak Region: The North Cascades

Ira Spring & Harvey Manning

The Mountaineers

Buy the Green Trails Sloan Peak No. 111 map

Download a map to plan your hike

Getting There

Take the Mountain Loop Highway east out of Granite Falls. From the Verlot Public Service center, continue along the Mountain Loop Highway for little more than 16 miles. Look for the well signed, large parking lot on the left (north) side of the road. Outhouses are available at the trailhead, and a Northwest Forest Pass is required.

Parking Pass/Entry Fee

Northwest Forest Pass
 

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Mount Dickerman

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