Spectacular views await at Sauk Mountain
Whether you are a novice trekker, avid hiker or photographer looking for a day’s adventure, Sauk Mountain Trail is one to be considered. Starting at mid-level on the mountain, the 2.1-mile hike (each way) is laden with roughly 30 switchbacks, which are short and easily attained by all ages.
This hike is one for a clear Washington day, as it offers magnificent views starting from the parking lot. As you wind up the mountain you hike through meadows, forest, wildflowers and even snow toward the top. (A perfect place for a summer snowball fight and short body sleds.)
Views of Skagit and Cascade River valleys, plus breathtaking views of the Cascade Mountain Range, Mount Rainer and even the San Juan Islands, make for ideal “reasons” to catch your breath or snap a photo.
If you are a little more adventurous and the switchback hike just doesn’t seem enough, you can take a second hike from the top down to Sauk Lake. This mile-and-a-half hike is easy enough and takes you down 1,000 feet. This portion of the hike is a little challenging for the wee ones, so keep this in mind before proceeding with children.
For this hike, make sure to pack plenty of snacks and water. Even though the degree of difficulty is minimal, if the trail is crowded, it can take longer than expected.
From I-5 take the Burlington/Highway 20 Exit and head east on the North Cascade Highway. Travel roughly 40 miles, turn left on Lake Forest Road 1030 (also known as Sauk Mountain Road). Follow this gravel road 8 miles to the parking lot. Warning: Watch for vehicles coming down the road at high speeds.