Burroughs Mountain Loop Trail is a 6.3 mile heavily trafficked loop trail located near Packwood, Washington that features beautiful wild flowers and is rated as moderate. The trail offers a number of activity options and is accessible from March until September.
From Puyallup, east 52 miles on Highway 410 to Sunrise Road in Mount Rainier National Park. Turn right and drive 15 miles to the trailhead at Sunrise Visitor Center.
Burroughs Mountain has three summits – First, Second and Third Burroughs. You can hike the Burroughs Mountain Trail up and back, or make a loop like our hiking group did. ASCENT: Sunrise Rim Trail from the Sunrise parking lot, which briefly connects with the Wonderland Trail (near Shadow Lake) and then to Burroughs Mountain Trail. DESCENT: Burroughs Mountain Trail to North Burroughs Mountain Trail (near Frozen Lake) and finally Sourdough Ridge Trail back to Sunrise parking lot.
It was a surprisingly cold and windy morning with little to no view of Mount Rainier for the entire morning (Sunday, 9/11). The weather can fluctuate greatly at this elevation – come prepared with plenty of warm layers and rain gear. The trail was snow free and climbs steadily up the rocky terrain. Trail is in good condition and the traffic was very light. The terrain is quite barren and you are fully exposed when the clouds break. Be sure to bring extra sunscreen, a hat and plenty of water on sunny days. You reach the open top of First Burroughs Mountain at roughly 7,000 ft. 1/2 mile later you reach Second Burroughs (7,400 ft), a popular destination for most day hikers. The push to the third and final point is worth it, especially if the weather cooperates and you have a view of Mount Rainier and beyond. We were VERY fortunate that the mountain "came out to play", just as we arrived at the intersection.
**NOTE: There is no official sign for Third Burroughs (or the First and Second that I saw). You will come to a sign that says Burroughs Mountain Trail with arrows directing both ways - and you will see a path to your right leading up toward Mount Rainier. Take this path to your right, or you will descend quickly toward Glacier Basin Trail.
The remainder of the trail up to Third Burroughs remains steep amid the tundra-like environment. We crossed one small snow field - perfectly safe (but other times of the year, be careful). Third Burroughs Mountain, standing just over 7,800 ft elevation, provides the perfect perch for stunning views of Mount Rainier! Emmons and Winthrop Glacier, Little Tahoma and the endless amount of sights are also bound to amaze. I found it very interesting to see the vast evidence of volcanic activity – much more prevalent than the Paradise side of the mountain.
Found it hard to leave Third Burroughs, but deliberately stopped for glimpses of Rainier from many different angles on the descent. Traffic and crowds increased as the day went on. Enjoyed completing the look by hiking Sourdough Ridge Trail down to a busy Sunrise parking lot.
Hiked today. It was very very cloudy and snowy! Didn't see Rainer at all, but hike was very interesting anyway. Need to get back and hike it again.
This was the most amazing hike ever! It was really windy at the Second peak, but so worth it!! Did it with my 10 year old, who is somewhat of an experienced hiker, but was a little treacherous because of the wind and rocks for her. So glad we did it though, she said after reaching the peak, it was the Best Hike Ever!!! Cool little 'turtle Rock' bench to sit on once you get there. We took the trip back down the hill to lake shadow, and had lunch, then back to Sunrise in about 6 miles total.
We started at the Sunrise Visitors Center with the intent to do the Sourdough Ridge to Frozen Lake. Once we got to Frozen Lake we followed everyone up onto the Burroughs trail. The trail is beautiful with fantastic views. It was extremely windy and cold and we were getting pelted in the face by tiny pebbles so we opted to head down after the first Burrough.
The view from Burrough one is breathtaking. You have an incredible view of Rainier and the glaciers. Jaw dropping!!!
The trail back, which goes by Shadow Lake is incredible. The views are nothing short of spectacular. Many people choose to come up this way because it is so scenic. That being said this trail terrified me. There was a section with a good drop off and lots of loose rocks. It probably wouldn't bother most seasoned hikers but I had a hard time with it. The rest of the trail is fine and again the views are stunning.
Be prepared if you do this hike. It may be windy - you'll want sunglasses, gloves, and a hat to cover your ears. You'll want plenty of sunscreen as well since you are in the sun.
Gorgeous views if and when the clouds clear ! Trail well maintained. Excellent variety of difficulty. Highly recommend!
This hike departs from the sunrise visitors center and not paradise as mentioned in the title.
This was my first big Washington hike and offered Breathtaking views of Mt. Rainier. We hiked all the way out to third Burroughs. it's a bit of a ways from second but well worth it as you're right up on the mountain and looking into the Winthrop glacier valley.
There are dozens of trails leading off in all directions and You could easily spend a week or more exploring. We chose the shadow lake loop for our return and had an amazing view of the Emmons glacier.
For me altitude was a bit of an issue and I found myself out of breath. Also you are above the tree line and pretty exposed so be sure to bring plenty of sunblock and insect repellent for the pesky flies.
Simply amazing! The views are breathtaking.
OVERVIEW: This was an easy hike to review...FIVE STARS all the way! Some reviewers indicated this hike was "easy" while other reviewers and guidebooks referenced this hike as "moderate." My layman's take on it, would be 75% EASY with two shorter sections of MODERATE hiking involved. Bring a wind breaker jacket as you will be completely exposed to ridge top gusts for much of the hike.
POSITIVES AND NEGATIVES:
+ Jaw dropping scenery
+ I think this is the closest you can get to Rainier without actually being on Rainier.
+ Great signage and the trail is in great shape and wide enough in many sections to walk two abreast, which is great for conversation.
– An almost two hour drive from Seattle to get to the trail head for a 3.5 hour hike. You will spend more time driving R/T than hiking, but it is well worth it.
-- $15 entrance fee per car and driver plus $5 for each passenger to the National Park. It supports the Park, but perhaps consolidate cars or carpool when possible.
--NPS websites gave conflicting information on road closures to Sunrise as we planned to hike in mid October. Once call to the Ranger Station at the REI store instantly cleared up all confusion.
WHAT I WISH SOMEONE HAD TOLD ME BEFOREHAND: When researching this hike, I saw many references to "Burroughs Trail," "2nd Burroughs Trail," "3rd Burroughs Trail," and "Burroughs Loop Trail." What took me awhile to figure out is that these are ALL on the same trail, it just a matter of distance you want to travel. There are three Burroughs peaks (aptly labeled as 1,2, and 3) and the trail travels to all three. It is realistic to travel to 1st and 2nd Burroughs Peaks, but getting to the 2nd to the 3rd peak would be considered difficult. The "loop" is just an alternate way of returning to the parking lot from the main trail.
This is the fifth time to make the 2nd Burroughs, and three on the 3rd. But every time is same jaw dropping....
Absolutely beautiful hike, paved roads all the way to the trailhead and amazing views!
2nd Burroughs Mtn is truly a 5 star hike. There is a small trail to 3rd Burroughs. The entire hike from Sunrise to to 2nd Burroughs is incredible. I also went to Fremont Lookout on the way back . . Great way to add a few more miles and another great viewpoint. The view on top of 2nd Burroughs is a pure direct view of Mt Rainier. . No ridge lines in front. There is no road noise nor views of any road. It truly is a perfect hike. I passed a herd of 45 Mtn goats and a chipmunk.
It was a splendidly clear day with just a touch of autumn color on the ground. Mt. Rainier was visible in glorious detail the entire way! Got a visit from a curious chipmunk, but no other wildlife sightings. We did see a moose grazing casually on the side of the road as we left the park (at least, I think it was a moose. My first alarmed thought was that someone's horse had escaped).
This trail is beautifully maintained and the views are incredible from the start - there are peaks as far as the eye can see in one direction and Rainier in the other. The ascent left me breathless in a few places, but it's mild and shouldn't be a problem for anyone who hikes or walks regularly. There are many lovely viewpoints to pause and catch your breath. Be aware that there is no shade, though - pick your day carefully and make sure you have sunscreen everywhere (I came home with the back of one leg scorched). At this point in the year, the snow and wildflowers are gone, but this hike was extraordinary for the rocky grandeur and the views. I took a friend who never hikes and he had a great time. I look forward to returning next year.
A gorgeous day, more traffic than I expected. The trail was great, weather was great as was the company. A marmot sighting on the way up to first Burroughs along with a herd of mountain goat grazing in the meadow below.
Amazing. Wanted to go on out to 3rd Burroughs, but my son was tired and we were not sure if it was a true trail or not and we did not want to be "meadow stompers."