You are here: Home Find a Hike Hiking Guide Mount Persis

Mount Persis

Be prepared: this is not an easy hike. More a bootpath than a real trail, the route occasionally disappears in the undergrowth. The trail is also very steep in places, requiring a little help from nearby trees to make your way up. But the views are incredible; just don’t let the short mileage fool you, and plan on spending a few extra hours tackling this one.

From the beginning this trail is a challenge. It’s rough and difficult, traveling through young forest and clearcuts into older stands of cedar and Douglas fir that proved too difficult to log off the steep slopes. The first mile sees the most elevation gain, with the trail eventually leveling out at the first view of Index and the top of Persis. From there, traverse along the ridgeline, through talus fields and thinning trees before beginning the final leg of the hike. Push upward past two small lakes to the ridge that runs between Persis and Index. Veer left to climb to the top of Persis.

Once you reach the summit of Persis, soak up the expansive views. Neighboring Index is massive. Pick out Baring, Mt. Baker, Gunn Peak, and Mt. Rainier. The exposed granite of the Index Town Wall is easy to spot above the miniature town of Index, and Heybrook Ridge sits just under Mt. Baring. The 360-degree views offer plenty to see before starting the steep slog back down the mountain.
Driving Directions:

To get there, take US 2 about 33 miles and turn right onto Forest Road 62, just before the town of Index. Follow FR 62 about three and a half miles to a junction with FR 6220. Head left for a little over a mile to another junction, and then again veering left. Continue on the increasingly rough road for another mile, watching for a small pullout on the left just a few hundred feet from road’s end. A steep, well-trod gully opposite the pullout marks the trailhead.

Improve or add to this guidebook entry

Recent Trip Reports

Hiked here recently? Submit a trip report!
There are 84 trip reports for this hike. See all trip reports for this hike.
Mount Persis — Apr 12, 2014 — kapini
Day hike
Issues: Blowdowns | Mudholes | Snow on trail
Expand report text Hide report text
A few of us went for a jaunt up M. Persis- I will save you details of our adventure and get to the i...
A few of us went for a jaunt up M. Persis- I will save you details of our adventure and get to the info bits that you actually read these for. The road looked mostly unchanged from last fall, just some extra runoff erosion along the sides, but doable in a sedan until roughly a mile from the TH, then it got too dicey for me. Snow is still on the trail, but there are some pretty good tracks to follow for the moment. The snow starts shortly after the burn area, but is pretty minor until near the small boulder field. The snow is also pretty deep, as we found out through numerous post-hole events. And lastly, the snow is very soft in exposed areas, not as much under the canopy, so traction is advised (I gave my crampons to a friend and used micro-spikes, both worked fine). Beware overhangs/cornices, we could see a fairly large one on the north edge of the summit from lower down that looked like it could give way any day now.
Read full report
Mount Persis — Jan 25, 2014 — ProfessorFive
Issues: Snow on trail | Avalanche danger
Expand report text Hide report text
A bunch of us did an overnight on the summit of Mt. Persis. Got to trailhead around 10:30, parking ...
A bunch of us did an overnight on the summit of Mt. Persis. Got to trailhead around 10:30, parking is quite limited and there was another party up for the day. We packed into the corner.

Left snowshoes at the car, but took our microspikes. I should have grabbed crampons as well. Ascent along the trail is pretty smooth, starting to hit snow and ice around 3800'. Some areas are very hard and icy, but manageable most of the way towards the summit. Spikes got put to good use.

We unintentionally detoured up to a false summit with great views, which let to one more dicey traverse that was unnecessary. Would have been a snap with crampons. The way down we avoided it completely. Final stretch was gorgeous in the snow. No water at the top (or its under a bunch of snow), so we were melting. Great views of Index, winds were not too high. We headed back down the next day, back at cars by about 10:20.

Snow was low and dense, little avalanche danger on the day we traveled. Watch for cornices at the top though.
Read full report
Mount Persis — Jan 05, 2014 — HikerBiker
Day hike
Issues: Overgrown | Snow on trail
Expand report text Hide report text
This trail is steep - it goes relentlessly up and up for the first one mile. The initial part didn't...
This trail is steep - it goes relentlessly up and up for the first one mile. The initial part didn't have much show - but it started very shortly. Micro-spikes or other traction device will definitely be useful - especially given the steepness. Hiking poles are very useful as well. We started late and didn't go all the way to the summit - we turned back about 1/2 mile before the summit. The steepness slows down after the first mile (by which time you'd have already gained close to 1800 ft!) and snowshoes are helpful here. There were at least one group ahead of us - so we had a good boot-path to follow. Otherwise, the trail, especially in snow, may need some route finding. It's a nice hike and great workout! We had a beautiful day today and had gorgeous views.
The FR 6220 is pretty bad, but manageable. We encountered snow only at the last 0.1 mile or so on the road. As of now, it's still drivable, especially if you have a 4WD as we did.
Read full report
Mount Persis — Dec 28, 2013 — onehikeaweek
Day hike
Issues: Blowdowns | Overgrown | Snow on trail | No water source
Expand report text Hide report text
Flickr: Decided to go a few days earlier this year since the weather ...

Decided to go a few days earlier this year since the weather will likely turn sour on New Year's Eve, which was the day the dogs and I had been up the mountain the last couple of years.

So far we haven't been getting much snow (yet) this season, so getting to the hiker's path entrance wasn't a problem. Although there was a big water puddle couple switchbacks down the bumpy road that might have created problems for smaller cars.

I used traction (microspikes) in the section between the first talus field and the point where the cliff with the "balanced rock" looking feature comes into view because that section got pretty icy and slippery. Beyond that, I held out on putting on snowshoes for as long as I could after re-entering the forest. Trust me, you WILL need snowshoes. Met a guy on the way down who turned around at the exact spot where I put on snowshoes. Judging by his tracks, he tried to go farther but didn't go very far before starting to posthole.

Our tracks should still visible if there won't be another snow dump in the next week or so. Avalanche danger was going to be moderate for the next few days, but still proceed with caution.

The dogs and I spent about an hour on the summit trying to wait for the clouds to dissipate. The clouds kept rolling in from the south, at times I'd get a quick glimpse of Mount Index and Glacier Peak, just long enough to get a few shots in before heading back down.

Yet another nice trip up the mountain. I'm hoping to return in the summer or fall so I can see what the place looks like without all the white stuff.
Read full report with photos
Mount Persis — Nov 21, 2013 — Nathaniel
Day hike
Issues: Blowdowns | Overgrown | Mudholes | Water on trail | Snow on trail
Expand report text Hide report text
The Road: Most of the way up would be fairly easy to drive a sedan on, but USFS6220 gets to be a lo...
The Road:
Most of the way up would be fairly easy to drive a sedan on, but USFS6220 gets to be a lot worse- so a higher clearance car is a very good idea. Parking area has a bit of ice, so the next snow storm will probably knock out access for the winter.

The Hike:
I am not sure whether I would call this trail a scramble or a very steep trail- either way... it is quite steep and requires good route finding skills, traction devices, ice axe, and good weather.

We hit snow almost straight away out of the parking lot, and started using traction devices at the first boulder field. The trail is hard to follow at times, and there is an obstacle course of downed trees awaiting hikers so be ready for a good adventure.

The visibility from the top was amazing, and I was surprised to find Hat Island visible off in the distance along with Bellevue, Seattle, and the Olympic range as well.

This hike is quite hard for the specs, hard to get to, and is very rewarding at the end. I just didn't want to repeat the trail after getting to the top. I would be interested in seeing what the lakes look like during the Summer time at some point, but that will not be this year.

Remember sunscreen. I *may* have forgotten what the sun was and left mine at home.
Read full report with photos
viewpoint mt. persis summit norm.jpeg
Viewpoint to Mount Persis summit. Photo by Norm.
Central Cascades -- Stevens Pass - West
Snoqualmie National Forest
Roundtrip 4.0 miles
Elevation Gain 2658 ft
Highest Point 5464 ft
Mountain views
User info
Northwest Forest Pass required

Improve or add to this guidebook entry

Map it
Red MarkerMount Persis
47.7931255 -121.6449381
(47.7931, -121.6449) Open in new window
Document Actions
  • Print this
  • Share
Get the Guidebooks

Mountaineers three booksSelect content from The Mountaineers Books' guidebooks is featured in this Hiking Guide. Sales of the books from this website help protect and maintain trails.

> Shop Now

More hikes » Hike of the Week
Diablo Lake Trail (Apr 17)

Diablo Lake

North Cascades

Follow the Diablo Lake Trail up and across talus slopes on the flanks of Sourdough Mountain to impressive cascading waterfalls and stunning views. This hike in the North Cascades Institute's backyard makes a great option for an early season hike in stunning North Cascades National Park, much of which is inaccessible during the winter and spring.

Get Trail News

Subscribe to our free email newsletter for hiking news, events, gear reviews and more.

What's Happening
Trails and Ales - Spokane 2014 Apr 22, 2014 Meet fellow hikers and raise a glass for trails!
GiveBIG 2014 May 06, 2014 Donate to WTA during The Seattle Foundation's GiveBIG event and grow your impact on trails!
Hiker Potluck in Vancouver May 28, 2014 Come out for an evening of great food, meet other hikers and learn what is happening on trails near you.
More »