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Sulphur Mountain

North Cascades

Location

North Cascades -- Mountain Loop Highway
View map below

Length

10.0 miles, roundtrip

Elevation

Gain: 4200 ft.
Highest Point: 6000 ft.

Rating

3.40 out of 5

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Parking Pass/Entry Fee

Northwest Forest Pass
Trail Closed: The Suiattle River Road is closed just west of the Downey Creek Bridge until October 6 2021 due to forest fire damage.
 
 

After gaining 200 feet in short order to get around a cliffband, the trail maintains a steep, yet steady grade to the lookout site—there are no wild ups and downs.

With the exception of a water source a mere quarter-mile from the trailhead, there is no water anywhere along this route. Start out well-hydrated, and carry plenty of water. Because there are no streams, there are no trail washouts, and typically there are not many trees across this trail. The terrain is relatively monotonous, but keep plodding—you will be rewarded. Peek-a-boo views begin on a rocky slope near the high point, and give way to full-on views of Glacier Peak.

Head east on the summit ridge for views, and wander as far as you like in the high mountain meadow. Though the destination is an old lookout site, there never was a structure there; rather, the hardy souls who landed a lookout gig here built their own “rag house” (tent). The trail becomes faint as it transitions into a boot-path used by those traversing the Bath Lake High Route. Glacier Peak is so close!

With your eyes, follow the canyon of aptly-named Dusty Creek, and its ashy whirlwinds, as it winds down to the Suiattle River. Mountain views include Green and Downey mountains to the west, Dome Peak to the north, White Chuck Mountain across the Suiattle valley, and to the east, the true summit of Sulphur Mountain. Sulphur Lake is far below—the fire lookout’s water source. Gazing at Sulphur Lake, imagine a lone lookout in the 1920s and 30s having to go all the way down to the lake for water. You’ll be glad you started out hydrated and brought plenty of your own.

 

Sulphur Mountain

Map & Directions

Trailhead
Co-ordinates: 48.2447, -121.1888 Open map in new window

Trailhead

North Cascades -- Mountain Loop Highway

Sulphur Mountain (#794)

Mt. Baker-Snoqualmie National Forest, Darrington Ranger District

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Guidebooks & Maps

Day Hiking: North Cascades (Romano - Mountaineers Books)

Green Trails Glacier Peak No. 112

USGS Lime Mountain

Getting There

From Darrington travel north on State Route 530 for 7.5 miles, turn right after Sauk River bridge onto Forest Road 26 (Suiattle River Road). (From Rockport drive south on SR 530 for 11 miles to FR 26.) Follow FR 26 first on pavement, then on gravel for 22.5 miles all the way to its end at a large parking area for the Suiattle River trailhead.

Parking Pass/Entry Fee

Northwest Forest Pass
Trail Closed: The Suiattle River Road is closed just west of the Downey Creek Bridge until October 6 2021 due to forest fire damage.
 

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Sulphur Mountain

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