Hiking Glacier Peak Wilderness

Climb to Green Mountain Summit Makes Premier Day-Hike
Bold Peaks of the Cascade Mountains
Bold Peaks of the Cascade Mountains

The summit of Green Mountain is a sublime aerie. You can peer into deep, forested valleys brooding below, and gaze across at bold peaks challenging the heavens. Having perched here once, you'll want to return again and again.

Gentle switchbacks and ever-expanding scenery ease your passage to the summit. Close by to the north is an unnamed Tahitian green pyramidal mountain. Farther north is Mount Buckindy To the east, you can trace the courses of Downey and Bachelor creeks below you, and above see a favorite of mountaineers: the Ptarmigan Traverse from glacier-capped Dome Peak, north to Mount Formidable. Glacier Peak dominates the southeastern horizon.

If you're aching to get views from on high, yet it's only May, the first 2 miles of the Green Mountain trail will probably be snow-free. You can spy Dome and Glacier peaks from there. Abundant glacier lilies might further reward your early-season effort. Snow in the basin beneath the summit usually stops hikers until July. But don't let early-season venture keep you from doing the whole trip later.

From mid-July to early August, you can stalk tigers here. Not the striped, aggressive variety, but the spotted, orange, docile ones: tiger lilies. These exotic-looking blossoms speckle the greenery all the way up the south-facing hillside. Other species thrive here as well. If you're a wildflower zealot, it'll take you twice as long as others to reach the top. You'll be repeatedly stopped by arnica, Sitka valerian, purple penstemon, and columbine to name a few. The resplendent display rivals any in the North Cascades.

Published: 29 Apr 2002 | Last Updated: 15 Sep 2010
Details mentioned in this article were accurate at the time of publication


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