Big Rock

February 19, 2020


Mount Vernon, WA

Big Rock is an cool little summit in the vicinity of the city of Mount Vernon in Washington state. This little “peak” does not boast enough prominence to qualify as a separate summit by Washington standard, but does have an official name as well as a well-trodden trail. To reach the highest point one has the oppourtunity to do some fun, hands-on scrambling. In the past several years the trail was reported “closed for public access” but starting last year it appeared to be in use again. I don’t know what’s the story behind the closure but for now, the access has no issue.

I had been saving the group of dumpster summits near Mount Vernon for a half-day outing when I was lack of energy and/or motivation and this proved to be the case of last Wednesday. The weather had been nice throughout the middle of last week but I could not go out for a single full day due to work. I was too tired to push for an all-nighter ascent in the dark neither so eventually settled on dumpster-diving. My first objective would be Big Rock but the plan was to ascend as many as four dumpster summits in the area. I didn’t manage to leave White Rock until 9 am which meant I had to be quick. I have had a Nexus card for over a month now and the border crossing was so much easier with no more than one minute of delay. Once into the US I drove south for an hour aiming directly for the trail-head of Big Rock. The parking pull-out could only manage a couple vehicles suggesting this hike isn’t a well-known one.

Big Rock trail. GPX DL

The hike to the summit scramble had nothing worth documenting as the trail was very easy to follow. I picked a few 3rd class lines scrambling to the summit rather than following the beaten path walking around. The views were also fairly expansive considering the lowly status of this peak. I stayed on the summit for about 10 min but then it’s time to head for my next objectives – Devils Mountain, Scott Mountain and Little Mountain. I would actually recommend Big Rock for hikers in the local areas because of its view-to-effort ratio.

This is the start of Big Rock trail.

The trail was muddy on the lower parts but good in general

I had to hop over some dead-falls

Arriving at the base of the summit scramble

Emerging out of the woods

I picked a direct line to scramble to the summit

Looking towards the urban areas of Mount Vernon

Me on the summit of Big Rock

This is a southern view from the summit

The northern view past Baker Heights towards Mt. Baker

Another photo of me on the summit of Big Rock

Mt. Baker dominates the skyline.

Mt. Baker with Lincoln, Colfax and Sherman Peaks attached

One last view from the summit. As you can see this hike is lowly and short…