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.
- 8.2 miles, roundtrip
- Elevation Gain
- 3950 feet
- Highest Point
- 5760 feet
Mountain Loop Highway is closed from Deer Creek (milepost 24) to Bedal Creek (milepost 36) for the winter.
Hiking Mount Dickerman
Map & Directions
Co-ordinates: 48.0538, -121.4900 Open in Google Maps