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Glacier Basin Trail is a 7.8 mile heavily trafficked out and back trail located near Paradise Inn, Washington that features a lake and is rated as moderate. The trail is primarily used for hiking, camping, snowboarding, and backpacking and is best used from June until October.

Length 7.8 mi Elevation gain 2,194 ft Route type Out & Back

Backpacking

Camping

Hiking

Forest

Lake

River

Views

Waterfall

Wild flowers

Wildlife

Over grown

Rocky

Snow

No dogs

Description
Waypoints (0)
Facilities
Contact
Getting There

A steadily up-hill climb below Rainier's amazing glaciers that starts from White River campground.

There is a huge parking lot at the White River campground, and bathrooms galore. If you'd like to hike this trail, make sure to head WEST (South or North will put you on the Wonderland trail). There's a Mt. Rainier Entrance Fee.

White River Wilderness Information Center Tel: 360.663.2273

From Enumclaw, S on Highway 410. 36.2 miles past mile marker 26 turn Right on Sunrise Rd for 5.3 miles. Left toward White River Campground for 1.5 miles through the campgrounds to the parking area on the left side of the road, the trailhead is located east on the campground road through Loop D

Weather
UV Index
Daylight
Reviews (303)
Photos (680)
Recordings (229)
Completed (695)
Alicia David
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarAugust 1, 2020
HikingNo shadeRocky

Went 8/1/20 Saturday and got the last spot in the parking lot at 9:30 am. Saw maybe a dozen or so people on the trail. Also saw a black bear by the Emmons fork, a marmot, chipmunks and a bunch of blue butterflies. The wildflowers are out in abundance and the perfume in places was heady and incredible! Went down about a mile or so past the end of the maintained trail to sit and eat lunch before heading back. Amazing views of Rainier and Emmons Moraine blue water is something you have to see. Didn’t try to scramble down to the lake as it didn’t look especially safe but you can see it well enough from the top of the trail. Highly recommend this trail. The incline is steady and all the way and there were tons of waterfalls the entire trail.

Adriann Jordan
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarJuly 17, 2020
HikingBugsFee

Beautiful trail! Wildflowers are out.....little falls along the trail heading up! I went further up past the end of the maintained trail to the tree line and then on my way coming down ventured up Emmons Morraine Trail to get a peek of the gorgeous lake which did not disappoint!! Notes: arrived around 9:00am and came back around 3:00pm and of parking both times. You can also park further up in the campground if the climbers lot is full. Some bugs so wipe yourself down. I used Aunt Fannie’s natural mosquito wipes and they were solid. There is a toilet up at the Glacier Basin Campground at the end of the trail if you need it.

View Adriann's Recording
Reed P.
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarJuly 16, 2020
HikingBugs
View Reed's Recording
Jo M
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarJuly 15, 2020
HikingBugsGreat!

Very beautiful, not too challenging but a constant, gradual uphill mostly. Most of the trail is a beautiful walk in the woods with the sound of the river rushing nearby. Every mile or so the trees open up and you get an amazing view of Mt Rainier. Wildflowers seem to be at their peak right now, they were everywhere! Lots of bugs and biting flies. Lots of waterfalls and streams (mostly there were footbridges but a few spots you cross a very shallow stream on rocks). Very beautiful and peaceful.

KyLee Denning
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarJuly 14, 2020
Hiking

Great trail, very busy so please bring masks! Parking could get tricky if the campground opens back up but with it closed for the foreseeable future there is plenty of room no matter what time you start. Make sure you cut over to the Emmons Moraine trail for an awesome view of the glacier lake and adds only a short distance to your hike!

Allison Stewart
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarJuly 13, 2020
Hiking

No problem finding parking at 10am on a Sunday morning. Saw two piles of bear scat on the trail headed up, and then ran into the bear itself on the way down! He or she seemed surprised to see us too but disinterested in doing anything beyond crossing paths on the trail. Small bear, no cubs in sight. Trail seems to be in great shape, lots of flowers still in bloom!

Scott Goode
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarJuly 12, 2020

11July Beautiful trail and views. Start in forest from White River campground and stay mostly in forest until the Glacier Basin camping area. No snow unless you continue past. Went to base of Mt. Ruth. Crampons and poles very useful once you reach the glacier. The green lake near the beginning of Emmons Glacier trail is amazing. Plenty of parking available in the closed campsites at 1100. Ranger said fine to park there. Yearly Rainier Park pass was $55. 30$ for a drive in day pass. Easy math. Enjoy your travels.

Chandler Beyer
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarJuly 12, 2020
Hiking

Great trail! Really beautiful. I hiked Saturday, July 11th. Arrived at Campground at 7:15am and got one of the last 5 spots in the packing lot. Hiked Emmons Moraine and saw no body on the way up. Ended up starting hiking Glacier Basin at 9:30am from Emmons Moraine split, passed three groups on my way up, so very easy to social distance. I saw probably 100 people going up as I was coming down, and only about 30 were wearing masks / respecting social distancing. A parking spot couldn’t be found across the campsite... counted 87 cars in line to enter the national park at sunrise entrance at 1pm when I left the park

william goode
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarJuly 11, 2020
Hiking

Arrived at entrance to Sunrise/White River at 1100. 30$ to drive in, or 55$ for annual pass to Rainier. There was plenty of parking in the closed camping areas, the parking lots were full. Spoke with a ranger, said that the camping spots are fine to park in when closed. The hike is mostly through forest until you reach the Glacier Basin camping area. No snow until you get to the glacier area. Crampons and poles were useful as the incline increased on the glacier. Went to the base of Ruth Mountain. ~ 7300' elevation. Saw a couple of marmots just above the GB camping area. Uploaded some pictures. Wanted to explore Emmons Glacier Trail so turned back at this point. It also looked stormy with the dark clouds around the mountains. The views were delightful. You could see Rainier from some openings in the forest about halfway to the G.B. camping area. It was quite busy on the trail, though hikers were nice enough and let me pass on the ascent and descent. Great day overall. Keep trekking.

Jack Mowreader
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarJuly 10, 2020
HikingGreat!
View Jack 's Recording
Jake N Kristin Pool
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarJuly 10, 2020
Hiking

Glacier lilies partially blooming still past glacier Basin camp. Hike to st. Elmo pass for great views!

View Jake N Kristin's Recording
Rod Emmons
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarJuly 9, 2020
HikingBugs

Great morning. We saw more wildlife than human beings! Trail was in great shape. Two small patches of snow were across the trail just before heading into Glacier Basin Camp. We got sidetracked off the trail following a herd of mountain goats for about an hour. We got back on track after a while. Sun came out and had gorgeous views. Went back down the trail and followed Emmons Moraine trail until we came across very fresh bear scat and decided to head back home! I had an absolute blast with my son. The best way to spend a summer morning. Keep on trekking!

View Rod's Recording
Annilee Hosford
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarJuly 9, 2020
Hiking

Oh my gosh- just hiked this today with my two sons 8 & 11. It was incredible. Checked every box - beautiful trail - beautiful views - just don’t forget bug spray . 2 miles in is swarming with mosquitoes- I couldn’t even count how many I killed and they still ate us alive- worth it , I say but my sons may not agree lol

Juls M.
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarJuly 7, 2020
Hiking

Love this hike!!!!

Justin Luthey
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarJuly 6, 2020
Hiking

100% snow free. Nps website was outdated. Poles and crampons not needed at all. Few good views along with the way and some waterfalls. Went up to Burrough for 1.1 miles but turned back. Views were better there imo.

View Justin's Recording
Jessica Hudak
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarJuly 5, 2020
HikingBugsMuddySnow
View Jessica's Recording
Mickey Toth
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarJuly 4, 2020
Running

This was nice. Views were pretty underwhelming until about the final half mile at which point you feel like you’re in Lord of the Rings. You don’t need any special equipment for this; there is snow but it’s not bad. Conditions are great for a hike up to Mt. Ruth if you’re looking to extend your hike; just be sure to bring crampons and an ice axe

View Mickey's Recording
Sarah Clarke
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarJuly 3, 2020

I was on this hike 6/28/ 20 and I meant to hit the Burroughs trail, but stumbled upon Glacier Basin. The hike was absolutely beautiful with gorgeous flowers and small waterfalls along the way to the top. There was snow about 3/4 of the way up but nothing my hiking boots couldn't handle. Poles would be helpful especially when it comes to the snowy parts, but I followed other boot tracks. When you pass the campsite the view is phenomenal. Didn't expect such a beautiful view of the Basin. it was a little cloudy, but the sun broke through and the glacier wasn't shy. If you keep on the trail there are Marmots and its gets really rocky and muddy on a rainy day so be careful. Such a great experience though. 11/10 recommended.

Mesha P.
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarJuly 3, 2020
HikingMuddySnow

Hiked the trail today. The upper half of the trail still had some snow, but nothing our hiking boots couldn’t handle. The hike up was a little tough but definitely doable! Had lunch next to the lake, it was absolutely gorgeous! One of my favorite hikes this year! Hardly any bugs!

Amanda Jones
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarJuly 2, 2020
Hiking

Awesome trail! Uphill the whole way but totally worth the steady climb. On the way back, we started up the path toward Sunrise Visitors center but got turned back by a steep snow field that would have been a nasty slide if slipped. The views near the top were amazing!! What a wonderful day hike.

IronBoots Clodstomper
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarJuly 2, 2020
Hiking

Arrived at 7:45am and the main parking lot was only 1/3 full, but of course it was a Thursday! While the weather was overcast it didn’t take long to clear up, and let the sun shine through. The trailhead starts at the end of the White River Campground and is mostly a slow easy grade uphill, and wide enough you can ”social distance”, passing one another without to much trouble. As you pass small waterfalls that sometimes cross the trail, you’ll see plenty of wildflowers, all which are starting to bloom; this should be quite a show along the trail in a week or so! And if your planning on going up to the Burroughs, and possibly to Sunrise, keep in mind its strenuous, the turnoff for this trail starts when your almost at the basin and the snow level begins here ( but if your going to Glacier Basin you’ll only encounter some intermittent patches just before the basin). Once in the basin take your pick to look from. Views of the lake surrounded by glacier lilies, Ice melting forming water falls, marmots running from place to place, or the peak of Little Tahoma. And don’t forget a side trip to Emmons Morraine Glacier!

AllTrails User
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarJuly 2, 2020
HikingBugsGreat!Snow

Left Seattle at 7a after dropping off the dog and arrived at the White River parking lot at 9:15a. There were 26 cars there. Made it all the way to the campground without needing spikes but there is some snow over the trail at places but easy to walk over. Bugs were not too bad, but I would lather up before heading out. 3 groups carrying skies, a bunch heading out to camp and a few families with kids and some groups of young people. Most everyone was wearing masks! The road to Sunrise was closed when we arrived and open when we left so we drove on up to the top. Looks like some of the trails might be hikeable. The flowers were out. Beautiful. Fields of Glacier Lillys.

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