The North Ridge of Marys Peak is a quiet route to reach the top of this popular peak in the Willamette Valley. Since it is longer and gains more elevation than its sister, the East Ridge Trail, fewer people tackle this hike. But the North Ridge offers a stark, still beauty that is unparalleled.
Each season provides a unique opportunity to explore Marys Peak. In spring, early wildflowers begin to bloom as the leafy greenery starts to unfurl. Summertime brings predictably clear and sunny weather. Fall offers a shroud of mist and fog, bringing an air of mystery to the darkened forest. And winter is the most variable of all, with alternating snow, rain, wind, sun, and fog. Stay closely tuned to the weather forecast and snowfall amounts to decide what to bring and what to wear for a winter ascent of the North Ridge.
Combine the North Ridge Trail with a quick walk up the Summit Trail to reach the picnic area at the top of the mountain. On a clear day you can see the ocean and Mount Rainier.
For an even longer and less traveled route, connect the North Ridge Trail and the East Ridge Trail with the Tie Trail. Begin by taking the North Ridge Trail to the summit, then, instead of taking the North Ridge Trail back, follow the East Ridge Trail for about a mile to the junction with Tie Trail. This traverses Marys Peak, gaining about 400 feet in just over a mile, until it dead-ends at the North Ridge. Head down the North Ridge Trail to return to the parking area.