Best Hikes at Mt. Rainier

March 18, 2019

Assistant Innkeeper Katie’s Favorite Hikes at Mt. Rainier

Over my past 4 years of living in Seattle, I have had many opportunities to visit and hike in Mt. Rainier National Park.  One of the best things about this area is waking up and thinking "I think I'll go to Mt. Rainier today!"  With the entrance to Mt. Rainier being only 2 hours from Seattle, it is quite possible to do a day trip to Mt. Rainier and enjoy the amazing views and trails this park has to offer.  I want to share some of my favorite hikes at Mt. Rainier.

Longmire area

Trail of Shadows - An easy loop trail through the old growth forest with informative signs about the Longmire area, as well as some information about the park. (0.7 miles).

Rampart Ridge - A moderate trail.  Starting at the trail of shadows you will eventually find a trail heading up hill. Follow this trail to find yourself on top of the ridge with wonderful views of the Longmire valley.  Continue on the trail and on a sunny day you will find beautiful views of Mt. Rainier.  As you descend toward the road, cross the street and follow a small section of the wonderland trail which will lead you back to the Longmire parking lot. (4.6 miles)
Paradise area

Skyline loop trail- A strenuous trail that takes you away from the parking lot and through a meadow of flowers (in summer). This trail is quite exposed and gives you close up views of Mt. Rainier, walks along streams and rivers and if you stop at glacier vista along the way, you may get the opportunity to see Mt. Adams, Mt. Saint Helens and Mt. Hood.  You may also get to see black bears, and you will definitely see pikas.  These cute little creatures are not shy and may steal your lunch if you aren't paying attention! (5.5 miles)

Sunrise area
Mt. Fremont Fire Lookout- A strenuous hike on exposed rock, to an old fire lookout.  Along the way as you climb up you will find sweeping views of Mt. Rainier (really it looks like you could just climb to the top) as well as the Sunrise Valley.  One of my favorite experience was seeing mountain goats as they grazed just off the trail. (5.6 miles)

Glacier Basin- White River is considered part of the Sunrise area but you must drive down from Sunrise to the White River campground to access this strenuous trail.  I find the most beauty at the end of this trail as I hike into the basin area with luscious grass, and cragged rocks. If you are looking for a less populated, but no less beautiful hike, this is the one for you.  (6.5 miles).  

Hot Springs Nature Trail- This is a nice and easy hike.  Ohanapecosh doesn't have the views of Paradise, Longmire or Sunrise areas, but it is nicely tucked away in deep forest and it is a wonderful trail for people of all ages.  (0.4 miles)

Whether you hike of one of these trails or find another trail there are endless discoveries to find at Mt. Rainier.  This is truly one of the best places in Washington State.

"Of all the fire-mountains which, like beacons, once blazed along the Pacific Coast, Mt. Rainier is the noblest..." -John Muir