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Glacier Basin Trail

MODERATE 196 reviews
#17 of 130 trails in

Glacier Basin Trail is a 7.8 mile heavily trafficked out and back trail located near Paradise Inn, Washington that features a waterfall and is rated as moderate. The trail offers a number of activity options and is best used from March until October.

Distance: 7.8 miles Elevation Gain: 2,194 feet Route Type: Out & Back

backpacking

hiking

nature trips

skiing

walking

bird watching

forest

river

views

waterfall

wild flowers

wildlife

over grown

rocky

snow

no dogs

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

hiking
muddy
rocky
8 days ago

hiking
muddy
snow
21 days ago

hiking
snow
22 days ago

Excellent trail. great views of river, streams, waterfalls and mountains. first 3 miles or so are uphill but what a lovely and peaceful trail!

hiking
snow
22 days ago

what an awesome day. due to road closures my plan A was rerouted to here. traveling alone I felt very safe here. first 3.5 miles are uphill but beautiful sights of trees, waterfalls, mountains! definitely would recommend it. just keep in mind first 3 miles so are uphill.

hiking
1 month ago

Amazing views halfway up, nice peaceful alpine basin at the top

hiking
1 month ago

It’s like 6 different hikes in one! Such great variety, glacier lake, water falls, peak views, marmots, & packs of goats past the base camp

hiking
1 month ago

Hiked the Glacier Basin Trail on 9-6-19 with a side trip up the Emmon's Moraine. Started up the trail from White River campground around 7:30am. The weather was cool and cloudy. As we were hiking along the ridgeline on the Emmon's Moraine trail, a rain shower swept down off the mountain and soaked us pretty good. But it wasn't a very cold rain, so it was no real problem.  The last mile of the Glacier Basin Trail was harder than expected. The trail was in great condition. We just weren't ready for it. The sun started breaking through the clouds around noon and we finished our in-and-out hike at 1:15. The White River campground was packed in the morning, but we encountered very few hikers along the way. We saw several piles of recent bear scat on the trail, but didn't see any bears.  Great exercise on a great trail with beautiful scenery!

hiking
1 month ago

Beautiful.

hiking
1 month ago

Very Beautiful Trail on a Clear Sunny Day with Rivers And Cascades And Spectacular Views Of Mount Rainier very Easy well maintained Trail.

backpacking
1 month ago

My partner and I hiked and camped at Glacier Basin 8/24. We thoroughly enjoyed the trail itself, it was well maintained with a gorgeous view of Mt. Rainier on the way up. It’s worth it to stop on the way and take the very short Emmons-Moraine trail to see the lake, it’s turquoise in color and worth the stop. The first 2.3 miles of the hike is relatively easy and the last 0.7 are where most of the elevation gain are. Be aware of this if backpacking and grinding gear. Right before getting to the top, there are meadows with wildflowers scattered and then you’ll reach the top. Glacier Basin has a cool view of Mt. Rainer and you can continue upwards past the maintained trail for a better view and to see mountain goats. The campsite was quaint and comfortable, there is a toilet at the top as well. The entrance/exit to the trailhead is in White River Campground itself which if you prefer not to backpack but like day hiking is a great option to stay at overnight. I would recommend doing this hike with the extra loop around Emmons- Moraine trail.

hiking
1 month ago

Steady incline with lots of wild flowers, mini water stream, and mountain views along the way. The trail path is very well maintained. Definitely recommended. There are restrooms in the beginning of the trail as well as in the middle.

hiking
2 months ago

Hiked Glacier basin trail and emmons moraine lake 8/5/19. 9.20 miles with 1917ft elevation gain in 4hrs 38 mins moving time and 5hrs 39mins total time. Beautifully maintained trail with some sketchy areas. Got to the climbers parking/picnic area (wonderland trail is also accessible here) at 4:40am (which is where you'll want to park for the trail if you are just coming out for the day). Lot was about 1/4 full or less. Campground had lots of campers, but still some open spaces ($20/night I believe). Big campground it looked like. Bathrooms at picnic area were nice and clean. There is a water bottle fountain as well as a regular fountain. There are maybe 10 picnic spots. There are also bathrooms right next to the trailhead. Trails are marked good. There is no official trail to the lake, only a boot path that looked sketchy. I did not hike down to the lake as I was solo, but got some great photos from above via emmons moraine trail right after you climb out of the canyon and river crossing, blocked off by rocks. There are also a couple of spur trails that give you a good view of the lake from above. The water by glacier basin camp is a small pond. I hiked to the end of the maintained trail on glacier basin and did some of the emmons trail to see the lake, wish I would have done emmons trail (a mile round trip). Glacier basin camp near the end of the maintained trail is a beautiful spot to camp, 5+ spots, but you do need a permit to camp there or anywhere in Rainier national park. Saw 3 tents here. One spot has water on the trail but it wasn't too terrible to cross. Lots of different trail options in the area. Loved it and will definitely be back!!

hiking
off trail
rocky
scramble
2 months ago

We hiked this trail on Tuesday 8/20 and it was a beautifully sunny day. Park in the climbers/picnic lot and you'll have access to clean bathrooms and a water filling station. A short walk to the end of the camp sites will get you to the trailhead. There is plenty of shade along the way until you get out into the basin at the end of the trail. Bugs were not really problem but we had repellent with us just in case. We took the Emmons Moraine detour which is about 1 mile into the hike. I do recommend this as there is a fun river crossing and great view of the lake. We continued on past the end of the maintained trail but didn't think is was really worth the extra time. The trail is sketchy here and involves a little bush whacking. A tiny scrubby pine tree no taller than my knee put a nice scratch all the way down my shin. Got off trail a few times and needed to check AllTrails map to get back on course. Wasn't much of a payoff at the end either. Maybe just because of the time of year with all the snow and ice gone? It was kind of cool though to see waterfalls rolling off the glacier in the distance. Back onto Glacier Basin...this trail is uphill all the way with it getting steeper towards the end. Plenty of breaks needed to re-energize. You are mostly under tree cover and will cross over a number of streams. Plenty of wildflowers still in bloom. The camp at the end is a nice place to rest and have lunch. There is a "toilet" sign there pointing into the woods. It was a longer trek to this toilet than I thought. It's kind of out in the middle of nowhere away from the camp. It's also not covered with any sort of shelter. Just a big compost box with a couple of toilet seats affixed to the top. If you're not shy or worried about someone coming along while you're sitting there then go for it. Otherwise, you'll have to hold it until you get back to the parking lot. If you are adventurous, I do recommend continuing on past the camp for as long as you are willing or comfortable doing. You are out in the glacier basin now and on the same trail summit climbers take on their way up the Inter Glacier to Camp Sherman. The climb gets much steeper as you go and there are narrow ledges with steep drop offs. Not for the faint of heart and I could only go so far before getting too nervous and turning back. Trekking poles are recommended here. I only made it to about the 6300 ft mark. Now the good news is the entire way back is downhill and you'll make great time back to your car!

hiking
2 months ago

did this trail with my family and it was so wonderful. steady uphill climb the whole way out to the basin, with the last half mile being the toughest. took the spur at the mile market so total round trip pushed 8 miles. lots of waterfalls, wildflowers, and views of lake and glaciers. well worth the effort to see it all.

hiking
2 months ago

What a hike! Steady incline the whole way but you go over 18 bridges, along meadows, through the woods and long the river! Such amazing views!!

Return hike from Camp Schurman to the White River Campground

hiking
2 months ago

Very beautiful with a variety of views! We unknowingly turned around too soon once we hit the “end of maintained path” sign. Looking back, we should have continued as that path goes all the way down to the glacier. Still had an amazing time however :)

hiking
2 months ago

Me and my wife hiked Glacier Basin in late July. The trail is a nice ascent. It comes to open meadow with a rushing river and view of Mt Rainier. Worth doing for sure. Take the side trip to Emmons Moraine. At least go the .5 miles. Nice view of the glacier and the prettiest blue lake you ever saw.

hiking
off trail
rocky
scramble
snow
2 months ago

One of the best hikes I’ve done in Mt Rainier, you get a little bit of everything including Mt Goats a real bonus!

hiking
3 months ago

You get everything on this hike: glaciers! mountains! alpine lakes! waterfalls! it's moderate and gets steeper at the end but pretty easy-going throughout. make sure to take the 1-mile trail that comes at ~1 mile of the main trail - this gets you much closer to the glacier and allows you to see the lake.

hiking
3 months ago

Lovely trail with clear path. Beautiful views nearly the entire trail with a huge payoff at the end. Bring waterproof boots, you will cross a few streams.

hiking
3 months ago

Nice

hiking
bugs
3 months ago

Beautiful trail. Hiked it yesterday and the trail is in excellent condition. Some spots of snow, but nothing we couldn’t get over (or around) in hiking boots. Amazing flowers at the basin and on the way up.

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