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Mount Dickerman

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One of the most popular hikes off of the Mountain Loop Highway, the Mount Dickerman Trail delivers jaw-slacking views of a ring of rugged peaks near and far. Big Four and Del Campo practically leap out at you, while Glacier mesmerizes off in the distance. Though well-built and well-maintained, the trail is not easy. It starts low and heads high, wasting little time on the way to the 5723-foot summit. Come in September and Dickerman's legendary blueberry patches will slow your momentum even more than the steep trail. You'll likely end up looking like an "indigo girl"with all your picking and sampling.

Starting in thick timber, the way traverses the slope for a minute or two before commencing into switchback rhythm. The tread can be rocky at times, a result of erosion from when much of the mountain's lower slopes went up in flames nearly a century ago. Remnant old-growth giants displaying their fire survival scars stand proudly among scrappy successive growth.

After 2 miles of continuous clambering under a dark canopy and beside and around big mossy ledges, the grade eases at a small creek crossing (dry by late summer, pack plenty of water). Welcome daylight too as the way breaks out into boundless blue- and huckleberry-bursting flats as you near 3 miles (elev. 4400 ft). After vacillating through the vacciniums, resume upward momentum.

Cresting Dickerman's western shoulder, you'll have the summit in view-1 mile away and 1000 feet above. Winding through hemlock groves and heather meadows, the way once again steepens. But the stunning view south to Big Four, Del Campo, and the countless Monte Cristo peaks will help keep your mind off the grind. Finally, after gaining almost 3900 feet in 4.3 miles, reach the open summit.

Sheer cliffs drop from the north face, so keep dogs, children, and the vertically phobic nearby. Securely seated, start savoring the scenery. Admire the Perry Creek basin below, flanked by Mount Forgotten and Stillaguamish Peak. Look at all the mountains! Prominent to the north are Baker and White Chuck. East, it's Pugh, Sloan, and Glacier. South, Rainier peeks above a wall of jagged summits. And west, Pilchuck and Three Fingers stand out. No wonder this hike is so darned popular!
Driving Directions:

From Granite Falls follow the Mountain Loop Highway east for 27 miles to the trailhead, 1.8 miles beyond (east of) the Big Four Picnic Area (elev. 1850 ft). Privy available.

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Recent Trip Reports

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There are 477 trip reports for this hike. See all trip reports for this hike.
Mount Dickerman — Feb 15, 2014 — dbriggs5
Day hike
Issues: Snow on trail | Avalanche danger
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We hit the trailhead at around 6:50am with microspikes and snowshoes strapped on our packs and reach...
We hit the trailhead at around 6:50am with microspikes and snowshoes strapped on our packs and reached where the snow starts (around 3000 feet) as it got light out. Great views of Big Four at this point. The snow was about six inches of powder with a thick rain crust on top. We put on microspikes at this point.

The biggest issues were the gullies (I think they are waterfalls in summer) at 4100 and 4200 feet. Be extremely careful, I believe his is where two climbers died in 2006 and it is a steep snowslope with no good fallout area. With today's conditions, they weren't too bad though since we were able to kick in good steps.

We lost the trail shortly after and began working our way to the ridge through two different meadows. The snow here was maybe two or three feet of powder. On the uphill sections to get from the meadow to the ridge we were post holing even with snowshoes on, at times past our knees. We pushed on though as the danger was low here. We took a different route than the summer one. With today's avalanche conditions the summer route would have been too dangerous.

After pushing up the ridge from 4800 feet to 5200 feet we encountered high winds and thick snow. Eventually we were 200 feet below the summit, but the weather was moving towards a white out higher up and visibility was worsening below as well. We turned around around 5375 and made it out of the blizzard-like conditions fairly quickly.

We got back to the car around 3:00 after hiking in the pouring rain for the last 1500 feet. Very glad we decided not to risk the summit with today's weather.

Car: 6:50
Turn around point (5375): 12:12
Car: 3:04

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Mount Dickerman — Jan 26, 2014 — Walksalot
Day hike
Issues: Snow on trail
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Calendar says January; conditions say May. While it was nice to have clear skies in all direction...
Calendar says January; conditions say May.

While it was nice to have clear skies in all directions, it was more than a little disconcerting 1.) to be able to get to this trailhead at all at this time of year and 2.) to climb entirely snow-free more than half of the way to the summit. The jet stream treats Puget Sound today the way it used to treat Los Angeles.

The Mountain Loop Highway is completely open (as I understand it, all the way over Barlow Pass). There was freezing fog in the morning and snow in the parking lot, but otherwise, it was an easy drive to the trailhead. There was no snow on the trail - literally none - until just short of the point where the forested switchbacks end and the trail turns north to follow the creek bed.

Above that point, there was deep snow - enough to posthole hip-deep at times. It was a mix of soft mush and hard crust on the way up and mostly mush on the way down.

For anyone who, like me, needs to get back to the trails after the mild (but stubborn) cold that's been going around (I call it the bubonic crud that ate Seattle), I have words of encouragement: it can be done! I suffered like a dog, but I made it to the top after an uncharacteristic three-week+ period of inactivity.
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Mount Dickerman — Jan 26, 2014 — Kalman Brauner
Day hike
Issues: Blowdowns | Snow on trail
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Road conditions: some icy spots on road; exercise caution. Route: From last stream crossing one o...
Road conditions: some icy spots on road; exercise caution.

Route: From last stream crossing one of numerous tracks were followed to the summit. Most such tracks more or less follow the "winter route," i.e., the summer trail is not followed after the last stream crossing.

Snow and ice: continuous snow from ~ 4200 ft on. Annoying hiker-induced ice on trail for about 1/2 mile just prior to this.

Weather: Very good; warm, extensive views - albeit with some haze; a few high clouds.

Avalanche hazards: negligible.

Floatation and traction devices: Snowshoes were not carried nor needed. No other party used snowshoes either. Companion used Microspikes; author did not use traction devices though he carried them.

Time: 3 hrs 25 mins car to summit (including lunch); 6 hrs 00 mins - car to car.

Companion: Amy.
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Mount Dickerman — Jan 25, 2014 — Medusa La Stone
Day hike
Issues: Water on trail | Snow on trail | Avalanche danger
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Climbing Mount Dickerman in the winter beats climbing it in the summer! The trail is snow free and i...
Climbing Mount Dickerman in the winter beats climbing it in the summer! The trail is snow free and in great condtion until you get above the tree line.

It seems the person who trailblazed the path to the top, decided to do it off the normal trail... So be prepared to scale a really steep section before getting to the bench... It basically cuts uphill vertically and kicks you onto the ridgeline.

If you start this climb early, bring crampons and poles because of ice. If you climb it later in the morning, snowshoes and poles are helpful. At the summit I noticed a few tracks up on the snow cornice(s). BE CAREFUL, USE COMMON SENSE AND STAY AWAY FROM THE EDGE!

On the way down snowshoes are a hinderance rather then a help... But Yak tracks, crampons or snow boots work well w/ poles! As always, the views are STUNNING! ^_^
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Mount Dickerman — Jan 05, 2014 — Krista Dooley
Day hike
Issues: Water on trail | Snow on trail
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It was a beautiful day to hike up Mount Dickerman. We arrived in the snowy parking lot around 10am. ...
It was a beautiful day to hike up Mount Dickerman. We arrived in the snowy parking lot around 10am. The first section of the trail, maybe 1-1.5 miles, is relatively easy going. About halfway up the trail gets a little more icy/snowy. I put on micro-spikes and felt much more comfortable the rest of the way up. I would also recommend hiking poles, although there were several people without.

Thanks to the hikers who stomped down the snow in previous days the trail is well defined and packed down enough to minimize post holing. After you have been in the snow for a while, maybe 3+ miles, you will come to a section that Y's- stay to the left.

The final section is steep and slow going, but the views from the top are well worth the effort.
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Dickerman Mountain 024-1.jpg
Big Four Mountain from Mt. Dickerman trail (Mark Dexter)
WTA worked here!
2010
Location
Mount Dickerman (#710)
North Cascades -- Mountain Loop Highway
Mt. Baker-Snoqualmie National Forest
Statistics
Roundtrip 8.6 miles
Elevation Gain 3875 ft
Highest Point 5723 ft
Features
Old growth
Fall foliage
Wildflowers/Meadows
Mountain views
Summits
Established campsites
User info
Dogs allowed on leash
Northwest Forest Pass required
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
Green Trails Sloan Peak No. 111

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Note: the description and driving directions for this Mountaineers Books entry are copyrighted and can't be changed.

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Red MarkerMount Dickerman
48.0538166667 -121.49
  • Trail Work 2010
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