Explore the most popular backpacking trails in Mount Rainier National Park with hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.

I hiked this in late fall 2018. Hit an awesome weather window and had above normal temps which made it feel I was hiking in the summer! The trail is marked clearly and attendance was low. Beautiful terrain and the views are incredible. The last mile to the 3rd Burrough was quite the push but well worth it! Once you get to the top you have an up close and personal view of the glacier, breath taking. It was making glacier music, moaning and cracking in the mid day sun. The loop back to Sunrise was just as spectacular, deep valley view with beautiful green lakes while hiking along the rim. Perfect ending to an incredible summer!

hiking
10 days ago

One of my favorite hikes ever. The mountain feels so close and the scenery never dulls. Would recommend poles, but it is not a necessity. Will definitely be doing again!!

I’ve done it twice. Great trail.

This is probably my all time favorite hike I’ve ever done. Make sure to go all the way to the third Burrough and overlook the glacial features. It’s the most stunning view I’ve ever seen. Trail is very doable up until that last push up the hill which feels like that scene where Sam has to carry Frodo up the mountain except it’s me pushing my partner up as they slowly melt into death. No complaints once we made it to the top though. Hike back in a loop and you can see an incredible array of diverse ecosystems. Everything from Rocky Mountain passes to gorgeous pondside flower gardens. Just incredible. Even caught a herd of mountain goats doin their thing.

Did this hike on 10/20 just before they closed the road to Sunrise. I think this is now my favorite hike to date. The trail was very well maintained and easy to follow. It does have quite a bit of gain, especially going to third burrough but it's definitely worth all the blood, sweat and tears! (ok maybe no blood). I loved that the terrain was so different, not at all what I expected, being so close/in the mountains. I believe there was a sign saying it was similar to the Tundra landscape. Either way, bring lots of water as there are no places to re-fill, hat, sunscreen (depending on when you go) because there is NO shade, poles and food. It took us about 6 hours with lots of breaks and PLENTY of stops for pictures.

Great hike! Burroughs three is definitely the best but all three are worth the views. Perfect weather. Glowing yellow Larches from the valleys. I highly recommend making it a loop for the change in scenery and terrain.

Did it this morning - hit trail just before 8am and had the trail to ourselves for quite a while, it was lovely! This was not easy for this early 30s couple - took us about 5.5 hours with many breaks (for breathing, food, and pictures). Very cool though and was amazing to have third Burroughs just about to ourselves (about 6 others spread out across the 2 peaks). Oh! And goats! We saw goats :D. Take water, bring poles, and don’t rush yourself - the climb seems to just keep going, but you’ll make it. And just ignore those people trail running :)

Beautiful trek with breathtaking views. The trail can be completed by starting from 2 directions from the sunrise visitor center. If you wish for a easy one start from the path nearest to frozen lake as it is nearly flat. Otherwise start from the one nearer to emmons vista trail. 4 hrs from car to car. And take a good amount of water with you.

Amazing views of Rainier! We hiked this 10/14 and the weather and visibility were perfect! We just went to first boroughs then down the sunrise rim trail which was just as awe inspiring. This east coast girl never hiked this altitude but had no issues whatsoever. I only wish my hiking partner was up for the entire trail. Highly recommend this hike. We got to Sunrise around 1030, plenty of parking, but the lodge is closed for the season. We stopped at a little gift shop outside of the park Wapiti Woolies for some souvenirs and hit the Naches Tavern across the street for a couple drinks, a bite to eat, and a round of pool. A completely perfect day

hiking
3 months ago

Went solo on this trip the last week in September in 9 days/8 nights. One needs a permit and there is an easy system to sign up on-line either through a lottery system in March or there are walk-up intermarry possibilities if one has a flexible schedule. Also, routes can either be clock-wise or counter clock-wise in layout. The hike could be comfortably be done in 7 days/6 nights from a mileage perspective. I would rate this as 'hard' but not that 'difficult' in that there is +/- 25,000 ft. of elevation gain and loss for the whole hike, 2k-3K per day on average. It is hard as there is so much up and down. Hiking poles for me were a must. It is not difficult in that it is, during the summer months, a heavily traveled trek and the trails are generally well maintained and easy to follow forest paths. Each day you at going up and down at least one major 2K+ foot section between camps. With side-trips, the 93- 96 mile trek easily ends up over 100+ miles. I took the alternative 'Spray' trail in the northwest as this route is higher up, with closer views of the mountain. There are mountain goats, elk, dear and bear and, the ever present marmots. The weather cooperated, for the most part - 4 days of sunshine, 3 days of overcast, 1 day of rain and 1 day of snow (at 6,000 ft.). The temperature was in the 50s during the day which made for excellent hiking conditions, without overheating. There were no bugs and few people in the camp sites in late September. One is rewarded throughout with spectacular views of the mountain, hills, valleys and rivers as well as different scenery on each day as one heads through different sections and climate zones. In late September, the colors of the bushes change to fiery reds, oranges, yellows and purples - all providing a stark contrast to the bare mountain terrain they grow on. The Wonderland Trail takes one through barren outcrops, subalpine meadows, old growth forests, 'burned' out sections that are regenerating, talus fields and, of course, raging glacial river valleys which leave their silty/rocky deposits below. It is 'hard' because of the elevation gains and losses. All bridges were in place and markers in riverbeds were easy to spot as one navigated low lying sections. I enjoyed the campsites as they all have backcountry privies that are convenient and bear poles for your food/trash at night. In late September, there are few that you are sharing with. One of the pluses for this type of hike is that in each corner of the park, there are cache points to pre-stage food if you choose not to carry it all with you. Further, all campsites, save one, had stream, lake or other water sources near by so water for cooking and drinking was not a problem. Few trails of this length are as well laid out and maintained, with spectacular scenery, and this is the grand daddy of them all. Take the time - it is worth it.

This hike was amazing, the views we had of Mt Rainier were incredible. We started the hike around 7:30am, It is essentially just walking up 3 big hills. The weather was great, sunny with a few clouds near Rainier which moved away. The first two mountains we easy and direct, when we got to the bottom of the second there was a sign pointing left for Burroughs trail and right to frozen lake, it confused us a bit because we wanted to do the third burrough mountain so we just continued on up the third one, It did look a bit daunting but the views on the third mountain are the best! It took use about 3 hours out and back, we stopped a bit for pictures and to snack a bit. I recommend hiking early, there seemed to be allot of people starting their hikes at 10am-11 and this is when the clouds seemed to role in so they might of missed their chance for a good view. On the way back we saw a pack of mountain goats, and TONS of chipmunks.

This was a great hike with some great views when the clouds broke. Great shots of Rainier.

Amazing hike. Only went to the second Burroughs but still totally worth it. Did the hike on 9/29 and even though the weather in Seattle was warm (low 70s) it was pretty chilly on the hike (low 50s). Also, I’m used to East Coast, low altitude hiking and even though I could feel a difference because of the altitude, it wasn’t too bad.

Did this hike last Wednesday under beautiful clear skies. Got to Sunrise around 8 and encountered stiff winds along the ridge to 1st and 2nd Burroughs. The descent into the valley connecting the 2nd and 3rd mountains loses around 350 feet, leaving a long, tough slog of 800+ feet in a mile up to the summit of the 3rd. The elevation plays a role as the approach is in the 7.5k ft. range so pace yourself. Views from the 3rd summit are stupid-good and humbling in their scope. I’ve living in the PNW for 30+ years and hiked at Rainier before; this hike made me feel guilty I hadn’t done more in this area before. Bring layers as most of this trail is completely exposed. Made it back to the Trailhead by noon just as the trail traffic was picking up heading back up the mountain.

This was one of the best hikes I have done. This was 2nd time doing it. The first time we ended at 2nd Burrough fog was heavy so we couldn’t see anything. This past weekend the sun was out and shinning. I decided to take my friend the opposite way. So we started on rim trail and ended frozen lake trail. It was steeper going up, but easier coming down, when we reached 2nd Burrough since sun was out. Loads were rolling in we decided to start to head to 3rd Burrough. We asked people coming down they said was worth the hike. When we got to the top it was amazing! There were clouds on top portion of rainier but still amazing. As we enjoyed lunch the clouds started to move and give us glimpses of the top of rainier. Absolutely amazing! Worth it on a clear day. We saw 1 squirrel is all! Was looking for goats but did not see any on Saturday.

My wife and I hiked up to 2nd Burroughs and once again it was amazing!! It was the first time to 2nd Burroughs and she loved it. I was hoping to see some Mountain Goats but not this time. We did see a bear heading up to the parking lot which was cool. I recommend if you just go to 2nd Burroughs to start to 3rd Burroughs until you hit the first turn (an extra 20 yards). One of the best view of the mountain and trail!!!

This is one of the best hikes we have done in all of WA. We started out headed to Frozen Lake because of a recommendation from a park ranger. I would actually not take this route again, if we had gone the other way it would have provided better views of the mountain while heading towards the first burrough. Each burrough you go to has a better view than the last, and I would highly recommend going to the third burrough for a perfect ending. It is about 1.5 miles from the second burrough down an unmarked dirt path below. Warning, it is a harder climb up than the first two. At the top you are about as close to Mt Rainier as possible with great views of the glaciers on the opposite side. Overall, even with the third burrough added on the hikes difficulty was not extreme and offered insane views throughout.

Great hike! Perfect weather. Love the different terrain. Forest, meadows, rocks, waterfalls. Saw marmots & mountain goats. Pretty green lake. View of Mount Adams & Mount Hood from Panhandle Gap.

Great hike with amazing weather today. This trail is a new favorite of mine on Mt. Rainier. Totally worth the extra effort to go to Third Burroughs.

One of my favorite hikes at Sunrise! Spectacular views.. definitely a hike I will never forget. Bring lots of water if hiking in the summer!

Great views or MR. interesting to sit and watch the clouds change around the mountain. One area approx .25 mi had steep dropoffs and was a bit rocky, narrow path. Otherwise all good.
Finally saw goats! There were in distance but happy to see goats. Also saw 4 young deer, 1 marmot and many chipmunks.
Overall J enjoyed Paradise skyline trail much better.

Outstanding weather today, started about 10 am & stopped at Burroughs Mtn #2 for lunch. Views of Rainier were in & out re top due to cloud cover, but still worth the trip! Does get cold up top, we had on every layer we owned, Polar fleece & puffy jackets, hats & head band for extra ear warmth.

Treck up some work, easy for experienced hikers. Take your time, soak in views! Including sheep, an eagle, and several annoying pica up top... Just an all around outstanding day!

backpacking
4 months ago

Did this as a 9-day through hike with my wife last month. Absolutely amazing! We liked it better than the Timberline Trail around Mt. Hood. So many amazing viewpoints of the mountain and the flowers were plentiful. Beautiful lakes and subalpine meadows. Our favorite area was the Ohanapecosh valley and Indian Bar. Klapatche, St. Andrew’s Lake, and Summerland were amazing too. Pack light and use the food cache areas to make this challenging hike more enjoyable.

Very pretty area. We enjoyed this hike a lot.

just finished a 4 day run with my cousin. Awesome views, some nasty weather at times, but a really incredible experience

left pre-dawn, complete down pour of rain!! Rain turned to snow just before Summerland shelter. Within the next 1/2 mile, trail turned into its own waterfall (water mixed with slush). turned around shy of Pan Handle, wet/slushy/freezing rocks way to slick (I was running). Beautiful day!! Snow mixed with fall color and hazy skies, awesome!!!

hiking
4 months ago

Did a beautiful, but cold sunrise hike to First and Second Burroughs on 8/25/18. It was WAY too windy and cold to continue to Third Burroughs. I’ll definitely have to make it the next time :)

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