This 20.1-mile trek to Evergreen Mountain was once a short, 3-mile out-and-back before recent floods damaged the road to the trail. Although an 8.7-mile road walk is now required to access the Evergreen Mountain Lookout Trail, hikers who put in the extra effort will experience a more solitary landscape rife with wildlife and spectacular views of the Cascades.
To complete this route in one day, bring a mountain bike and ride the road to the trailhead. Park at the junction of FR 6554 and FR 6550, then tackle a steep climb up FR 6554. After 4.2 miles, the road flattens as it curves into the Elbow Creek drainage and crosses the first substantial washout along the road. (Navigate a second washout less than a mile later.) At mile 8.7, the road passes the trailhead parking area. Lock your bike to a tree, then follow Evergreen Mountain Lookout Trail to the northeast.
After a steep switchback climb up the ridgeline, the route crests the ridgetop, then ascends slopes dotted with lupine, tiger lilies, and asters. After 10 miles, the route tops out on the 5,587-foot summit of Evergreen Mountain, marked by a picturesque lookout cabin. Stay for awhile and soak up the stunning views of West Cady Ridge, Benchmark Mountain, and the Monte Cristo Range before starting the return trip.
For more information, go to Evergreen Mountain Lookout Trail #1056 and Evergreen Mountain Lookout.
-Mapped by Alan Bauer, Alan Bauer Photography