Submitted By: Rick Spindler
Trailhead and parking lot are located just past milemarker 27 on the Mountain Loop Highway, east of Granite Falls.
Got an early start to the trailhead with the both of us looking forward to what we had been working on since last summer...a hefty hike with a combination of both distance(8.5 miles roundtrip) and elevation gain(3700+ feet). We were packing light. Just our essentials and some extra food and water.
The switchbacks start out immediately and are fairly intense, at least to myself, who has only had some minor experience in elevation gain. Relentless is the word that comes to mind when referring to the number of switchbacks that you encounter. There really isn't too much in the way of a scenery change to keep your mind off the constant uphill travel. Old growth forest with a mixture of fir, pine, and cedar. The trail is in fine condition with only the occasional roots and rocky portions.
It's not until you get into the 3 mile mark on the trail that your reason for going begins to take shape. Views of Hall, Big Four, Morning Star, Vesper, Sperry, and De Campo are the first views you can see. Further along on the trail you break out on to a small ridge with several side trails you can take, and we explored them all. One such trail affords a view of Three Fingers, Whitehorse, and the summit of Dickerman itself. Upon seeing the summit from that viewpoint, the first words out of my mouth were"You got to be kidding! We're going up there?" Continuing to push towards the summit we passed through large meadows filled with many different varieties of wild flowers. Lupids, trillium, and tiger lillies were surrounding us in all directions. Regretably, the famous blueberry bushes were not in season yet, so we planned to come back again when they were ripe and ready.
Pushing the last mile, through the last set of switchbacks, we finally stood at the summit. The payoff was immediate, not only that we had achieved our goal, but more so for the panoramic view that could be seen. Mountains set against a deep blue sky that was hindered only slightly by a light haze.
Mt. Baker, Mt. Shuksan, and the Pickett Range. Glacier Peak, Mt. Forgotten, Sloan, and Bedal Peak. Monte Cristo and Mt. Rainier. The view of the Robe Valley and the shear drop from the summit to Perry Creek. Plus many more sights...too many to list.
After taking full advantage of the picture taking opportunities, we settled down to a leisurely lunch. Spending in excess of an hour at the summit, we decided to start down. It was a great trip and one I look forward to doing again, possibly later in the season after the first snowfall.
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