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Ski Lodge History

View of destruction inside Mount Pilchuck ski lodge: "We just can't protect it."
(The Herald, October 1983, photo by JIM LEO)

Vandals win at Pilchuck ski lodge; Forest Service quits

The U.S. Forest Service has decided to quit fighting vandals who have been slowly destroying the old ski lodge on Mount Pilchuck.

"We are preparing to advertise to have it torn down or moved," Claude McLean, ranger of the Forest Service Darrington District, said Friday. He expected the building would be gone by this fall or next spring.

The two-story, 2,911-square-foot structure was the main building of the old Pilchuck ski area, at the 3,000 foot level, east of Granite Falls.

When the ski area closed in 1980, the Forest Service regained possession of the real estate, including the buildings. The ski lifts and other buildings were moved by the former ski area operators, but the lodge was kept as a headquarters for the Young Americans Conservation Corps

"The YACC died last fall and without anybody there, we just can't protect it," McLean said.

Vandals have stripped away the protective plywood and broken out the windows and doors. Extensive damage has been done to the exterior and interior walls and other parts of the structure.

McLean said the Forest Service will leave it up to the bidder to determine whether to dismantle the building or remove it intact down the seven-mile road to the Mountain Loop Highway. But he expects it would be too difficult and expensive to move the building.

McLean said the two-lane, paved road to the ski area probably will be allowed to deteriorate into a standard one-lane, logging road. But he expects it will be retained in that condition to serve a campground at the lodge site.