Sauk Mountain Summit 5,541'

Washington Sauk Mountain Trailhead

Added by Beau Ramsey

  • Side hike to an alpine lake
  • Amazing 360 degree views
  • Beautiful wildflowers in spring
  • Great hike to get a friend into hiking in the outdoors

Even from the Trailhead, the views overlooking the Skagit River valley, all the way out toward Mount Vernon, are outstanding. The trail follows 20 tight switchbacks as it makes it's way 600 feet up to the southern crest of the summit ridge. This is a steep slope and it's possible to look straight down and see all the zigzags below you. In the spring the wildflowers are the best around along this steep slope. Once you reach the ridge crest and turn the corner, all the views to the east will open up. There are endless North Cascade Peaks to view from here. The trail now turns north and eventually northwest as it follows the east side of the summit ridge. You will pass a trail junction with a trail leading down to Sauk Lake. Follow the rocky path up until you reach the lookout site. It may be steep, loose and rough at the end. If you go on the weekend, expect there to be many hikers on the trail. The old lookout does not remain on the summit, it was burned down in 1991.

From I-5 exit in Burlington north of Mount Vernon on Highway 20. Follow 20 east for 36 miles and turn left of Sauk Mountain Road also know as RD 1030. If you pass through Rockport and the gas station, you have gone too far. Follow Sauk road (steep gravel road) up for 7.2 miles until the parking lot which has an outhouse just a short walk up the trail.

Pack List

  • 10 Essentials
  • Water
  • Trail Runner or Light Hiking Boots
  • Snacks
  • Camera
  • Outdoor Clothing depending on weather conditions
Read More

Please respect the places you find on The Outbound.

Always practice Leave No Trace ethics on your adventures. Be aware of local regulations and don't damage these amazing places for the sake of a photograph. Learn More



Fitness, Hiking, Photography, Running, Snowshoeing, Swimming

Skill Level:



Spring, Summer, Autumn

Trail Type:



4 Miles

Elev. Gain:

1200 Feet



Dog Friendly
Easy Parking
Family Friendly

Are we missing something?

Suggest an edit

How to Get There

about 2 months ago

Short but sweet (and steep!)

One of my favorite short day hikes near Marblemount. Views of the Puget Sound and surrounding peaks are well worth the switchbacks! Good workout and would be fantastic for a run before sunrise.

about 2 months ago

2 months ago

Great for beginners

Although this hike gains elevation quickly, the many switchbacks make it manageable. Even with cloudy skies that obstructed the views at the summit, the hike (and drive up) were worth it! *Side note: avoid taking the "shortcuts" that others have worn in to the trail. They really only save you a few seconds at most and are causing erosion.

2 months ago

4 months ago

Great Views

This is an awesome hike! We did this hike on 6/29/16 and there was still a large amount of snow that needed to be crossed near the top, but it should be gone soon. The hike is steep, but completely manageable. It's almost harder on the way down, so I would recommend bringing your hiking poles.

4 months ago

4 months ago

Excellent spring hike!

I hiked Sauk Mountain yesterday morning (June 20th, 2016) for the first time and loved it! The switchbacks take you quickly up to the summit. There was one patch of snow to cross on the back side of the mountain to get to the true summit. I'd recommend boots/microspikes and poles for a couple more weeks! Stunning views!

4 months ago

Added by Beau Ramsey

More Adventures Nearby

Hike Mount Catherine

Washington / Mount Catherine Trailhead

Start off on the extremely rough Forest Service 9070 road. Follow this for just over 4 miles until you see a sign for trail #1348 on the right.

Bryan Carroll
25 Saves

Hike to Gem Lake

Washington / Snow Lake Trailhead

The trail to Gem Lake lies along the same trail that passes by the incredibly popular Snow Lake.

Shelby Pothier
20 Saves

Hike to Elk Pass via "the Knife"

Washington / Snowgrass Flat Trailhead

This is a rather long out and back, however, it can also be done as a backpack, which would give you more time to explore the Goat Rocks Wilderness, which is highlighted in other Adventures.

Isaac Desautels
18 Saves