Our destination early this morning was the Mt. Dickerman summit. This is a fairly steep and strenuous 8.6 mile roundtrip hike with about 3800 feet of elevation gain. It's been described as extremely tough but honestly after a lot of the other climbs I've done this summer I thought it wasn't too bad. We just took it slow and steady. We never found ourselves so out of breath that we couldn't talk.
The trailhead can be found on the Mountain Loop Highway about 27 miles east of Granite Falls, WA. For those that don't know, there is no cell service along this fairly remote loop of road so be sure to bring the proper supplies. Water is especially scarce on the mountain this time of year. I carried 3 liters and had extra waiting for me in a cooler in the car. We hit the trail at 6:22 AM and arrived at the summit 2 hours 59 minutes later. Our return trip took just 1 hour 50 minutes.
The first half of the trail consists of switchback after switchback after switchback in dense forest with little sun and nearly no views. I didn't bother to take any photos in the forest because I didn't see anything particularly novel. There are a lot of loose rocks on the trail so really good shoes/boots are recommended.
Luckily, once we emerged from the forest we found beautiful meadows with a large variety of wildflowers and ever expanding views as we ascended. We also got a chance to see the Dickerman summit and just how far we had to go (7th photo below). From one of the meadows we got a great view of the Big Four Ice Caves and the cliffs above them (last 2 photos below).
We had the summit all to ourselves for about 30 minutes. There is a short and well defined path to a second shorter summit perhaps 50 yards away (6th and 7th photos below). The summit provides fantastic views (see video below) and plenty of space to spread out on crowded days. Luckily we had no crowds due to our early start.
Mt. Baker was visible (1st photo below) as was Glacier Peak (3rd photo below). We just took our sweet time enjoying the views, relaxing, and having a snack. The weather was perfect. There were no bugs. I was completely content. In the last two photos below you can see us lounging in our new Alite camp chairs (21 ounces) that we picked up during a sale at REI. They are pure heaven and I highly recommend one for yourself (no, I'm not getting paid to say that).
Short and sweet report today. I'm too tired to write much more. Get out and get up Mt. Dickerman before the snow comes back!