Mount Vernon, WA (MVW)
Named after George Washington's estate, Mount Vernon is known for its annual Tulip Festival. The bright and airy intermodal center is served by Amtrak, intercity and local buses.
105 East Kincaid Street
Skagit Transportation Center
Mount Vernon, WA 98273
Annual Station Ridership (2016): 18,319
- Facility Ownership: Skagit Transit
- Parking Lot Ownership: Skagit Transit
- Platform Ownership: BNSF Railway
- Track Ownership: BNSF Railway
- Amtrak Cascades
For information about Amtrak fares and schedules, please call 1-800-USA-RAIL (1-800-872-7245).
Mount Vernon’s modern and airy intermodal center was built in 2004, replacing a small shelter on the platform at the BNSF offices about two miles north of the present station. Skagit Transit operates from the new facility, which provides connections to intercity and Skagit Transit buses.
When the first European settlers arrived in the Skagit Valley area, they found a few prairie regions, but mostly a lush river delta of mud flats and salt marshes at the Skagit River’s mouth, surrounded by towering forests that came down to the water’s edge. The only route inland at that time was up the Skagit River, which was blocked at the site of present day Mount Vernon by a century-old log jam.
Jasper Gates and Joseph Dwelley first settled in 1870 on the banks of the Skagit River where Mount Vernon now sits. Later, Harrison Clothier came to teach school and join in business with a former student, E.G. English; they are credited with founding the town, which was incorporated on July 5, 1893. Mount Vernon was named for George Washington’s Virginia estate. Today, it is also the county seat.
When Mount Baker erupted in 1792, debris from the massive mudslides likely formed the two log jams. The lower log jam was a conglomeration of silt, vegetation, and driftwood about a half-mile long. The upper jam began a half-mile above the lower, and was about a mile long. Sediment was so thick on both jams that each had sprouted growths of brush and large trees above and below the waterline. This jam was utterly impenetrable by ordinary means, and difficult to bypass. In the summer of 1876, Joe Wilson and Donald McDonald partnered in the enterprise of removing the century-old log jams at the double-bend of the river at Mount Vernon. Clearing the jam was done by local volunteers and took two years.
Coal and logging were where the local wealth was made, and the delta was and is extremely fertile and agriculturally productive. Gigantic Douglas fir, western hemlock, and western red cedar trees grew hundreds of feet high, and often the stumps were large enough to use as living quarters—and sometimes were. One fir in nearby Sedro was recorded at 54 feet in diameter and 328 feet high.
Several rich veins of coke coal were also found, and these were mined until the 1920s. The Fairhaven and Southern Railway was part of a venture to bring the coal out, as well as to connect to the Great Northern Railroad via the Cascades Pass (which did not happen). However, James J. Hill of “Empire Builder” fame bought both the nearby mines and rail line and developed the town of Cokedale as well.
Mount Vernon is known today for its large and showy annual Tulip Festival visited by hundreds of thousand of people. The area is also home to many large flower bulb nurseries that ship nationwide.
Amtrak does not provide ticketing or baggage services at this station, which is served by four daily trains. The Amtrak Cascades are primarily financed through funds made available by the Washington State Department of Transportation and the Oregon Department of Transportation.
- 50 Long Term Parking Spaces
- Accessible Payphones
- Accessible Platform
- Accessible Restrooms
- Accessible Waiting Room
- Accessible Water Fountain
- Dedicated Parking
- Enclosed Waiting Area
- Quik Trak Kiosk
- Short Term Parking Spaces