Explore the most popular trail running 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.

We did this trail early October and I highly advise ice spikes. Initial ascent is a burner but levels out a bit with a gradual climb on ice and snow. Fun and somewhat strenuous hike with great panoramas along the way. Highly recommend.

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

Such a great little trail. I definitely recommend wering off and visiting bench lake. We were able to see a perfect reflection of Mount Rainier in the lake. We also saw 2 black bears and a lot of moose tracks around snow lake. Would definitely recommend.

Nice little trail, dotted with meadows & views of Rainier. The “faraway rock” overlook alone, makes this hike worthwhile. This trail is manageable for children 8+.

A fantastic hike on the best of weather days. This is a moderate hike and not hard by any means. Just take your time - allow a good 3 hours which allows for tons of photographic moments and rest. A hike like this shouldn’t be rushed anyways. There are no cliff crossings or dangerous places. Nothing to hold on to or stress about! No knife edge ridge lines or uncomfortable moments.

The only drawback are the crowds of people you face coming up from the clockwise trail. I recommend going counter clockwise so you have more time to yourself and it slows you to face the mountain as you ascend.

With that said...the mountain can change in an instant. Watching people ascend unprepared for the elements was frustrating.

We added onto the hike by following the Skyline Trail to the right .9 miles in. So instead of following the herd straight up...go counter clockwise and enjoy the snowfield and more real estate without the crowds!!

Beautiful views from every turn. A little ice on trail, happy I had my poles.

9/29/18
Such a great time of year to see all the beautiful autumn foliage! The kids (10, 14) & I really enjoyed this one.

9/29/18 Short paved path to see the falls. Very pretty!

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.

hiking
8 days ago

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

hiking
8 days ago

Great hike though an ancient forest, we seen some very cool Red Cedar and Hemlocks. Great pic spot ant the suspension bridge.

Amazing fall colors in late September! The colors right near the visitor center were some of the most photogenic. As you ascend the trail, it's a good idea to turn around from time to time to see stellar views down to the river and across to the Tatoosh Range and Mount Adams on a clear day! We'd recommend taking the Skyline Loop clockwise with a detour to Glacier Vista. The hike up is pretty straightforward with good views of the mountain head on. Near the top, we saw a mountain goat next to a snowfield! The views from the trail beat out the views from Panorama Point, in my opinion. The footing starts out rocky on the descent before you hit the treeline but it's fine afterwards. We saw a couple of marmots on the way down. The second half of the trail also has some of the best photo opportunities with the mountain rising over a forest of bright colors. Be sure to stay on trail even if it gets crowded! Just take a pause to admire the view. :) We finished our loop in about 3:15 including lots of time for pictures. Check out nearby Reflection Lakes and Narada Falls on your drive out for more amazing scenery!

hiking
9 days ago

Nice. Had a fox follow us for a bit. Great views.

This was an awesome hike up icy slopes, with beautiful views of slow fields, glacial peaks, and alpine waterfalls. The trail was extremely wet on our counter-clockwise descent. Can’t wait to try the trail again in the spring! Pray for clear skies so you can see Mt. Rainier in all her glory!

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.

Loved this so much. Great for young kids. Tip: bring a flashlight for kids so they can explore inside the logs.

Super easy trail, I love the bouncy bridge.
Absolutely beautiful location, was a bit crowded.

I think this might be the most beautiful place on earth! The trail is a bit strenuous in places with slick or muddy footing where ice or snow remain. Above the panoramic point the trail is quite narrow and requires holding on to the rock face very briefly. There are waterfalls and noisy rivers, marmots and chipmunks and hawks. We were warned about black bears but we didn’t see any. There are dozens of trails in this park ranging from easy to difficult/strenuous. Pick one appropriate for you and prepare to be surprised by beauty!

Great hike.
A long day, close to 18 miles, plus distance for a few nice side hikes.
Amazing autumn colours high up in the hills. We saw bears, goats, hawks, deer. Not too bad.

Hiked this trail to Bench Lake At the end of September. Absolutely stunning!! We had a beautiful day so the fall colors just popped. There are some decent climbs along the way but the trail is well maintained with built in steps. Our four year old loved it as it was interesting and challenging enough to keep him moving but not so over the top that he gave up. Highly recommend taking the spur trail down to the shore of bench lake-it is a bit of a “scramble” but again, the four year old did it and I had a baby in a frame carrier and made it just fine. About half way down the spur trail it forks-the trail to the right is a bit easier but both do end up on the shore.

hiking
16 days ago

This was an absolutely stunning hike! We happened to go right as the autumn color was peaking. Wow! The added bonus is that you hike to a glacier. It can’t get much better than that. :-)

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!!!

Spent the day yesterday on trails around the Paradise visitor center, including Myrtle Falls. Autumn colors were extraordinary. A great time of year to visit, but dress accordingly. Weather up there changes quickly

Beautiful fall colors and lots of opportunities for pictures. There are a lot of stair-like steps from 12-24+ inches both up and both directions. We were glad we brought our hiking poles. No bugs and light traffic in a Friday.

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.

This trail isn't getting the love it deserves! Went in late June on a partly cloudy today. The views from the top were stunning, especially once the clouds around Rainier cleared. You could see Mt. Hood in the distance if you looked really close as well as Mt. St. Helens. Easily assessable just past the Pinnacle Saddle, but is a bit of a scramble at the top. If you go in June there is still enough snow at the top to slide back down the summit to near the saddle!

Load More