Skyline Loop Trail

MODERATE 157 reviews

Skyline Loop Trail is a 5.4 mile heavily trafficked loop 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 July until September.

DISTANCE
5.4 miles
ELEVATION GAIN
1548 feet
ROUTE TYPE
Loop

wheelchair friendly

kid friendly

cross country skiing

hiking

nature trips

snowshoeing

walking

forest

river

views

waterfall

wild flowers

wildlife

bugs

snow

no dogs

From Tacoma, south 40 miles on Highway 7 to Elbe. Turn east on Highway 706 and drive 10 miles to the Nisqually Entrance Station. Continue 18 miles to the National Park Inn at Paradise. The trailhead is behind the inn.

snowshoeing
7 days ago

Hiked this trail yesterday on a clear day. Lots of snow pack. LOTS of people. The views at the top are absolutely breathtaking.At this time of year it is actually not possible to hike the skyline Trail because it is completely snowed in, and there are a lot of drifts and bowls preventing reasonable navigation over all of the snow. However there is an alternative trail that everyone seems to be using that initially follows the skyline loop for 2.2 miles that takes you through Panoramic Point, then about a mile beyond that. It is all summit and all descent. There is one area about 2 miles in that is very steep, going up is challenging but doable. Going down glissading is the only option. Not for the faint of heart. Saw one guy hit his head, saw many uncontrolled slides. Must have snow shoes, waterproof pants and poles are a plus. If you ski, skis are a big fat plus for the way down

hiking
1 month ago

2 months ago

We went in early November and the areas around the trail head was extremely crowded. We were surprised to see the paved trail during the first part of the hike. However, we’d highly recommend coming here and doing the full loop trail, including the upper skyline trail. It’s absolutely beautiful. We rode in from Seattle and even on a foggy day in the surrounding area, the trail was completely clear. We’d recommend hiking poles and layers during this hike (if you’re going the whole way) since there was snow on the ground at times.

hiking
3 months ago

High Skyline is my personal fav point in this trail... don't miss out on this one...

hiking
3 months ago

The only reason keeping me from giving this trail five stars is that Ranier was completely covered in fog that day. It was impossible to see the mountain from any angle along the trail. I was able to catch a glimpse of Nisqually glacier through the fog at one point, but overall my hike was dominated by marmots, grassy slopes, steep alpine sections up to the overlook at Panorama Point, and beautiful wildflower meadows with trickling streams and looming trees out of the fog. It was still so beautiful! From Panorama Point, I looked out at...nothing but fog! The sign describes all the mountain peaks you'll see from there, but that day, nothing was to be seen. It was also quite cold at the Point. Highly recommended hike but maybe when it isn't so foggy!

3 months ago

Great for the family!

hiking
3 months ago

Beautiful fall color!

3 months ago

Geweldige maar best pittige hike. De herfstkleuren komen mooi uit op de trail. Je bent wel 4 uurtjes bezig maar dan heb je ook fantastische uitzichten.

hiking
4 months ago

I have hiked this trail too many times to count and it is still one of my favorites in MRNP. I camped at Cougar Rock Campground and drove up to paradise early in the morning and hopped on the trail from behind the INN. It was a beautiful day sunny blue skies. I saw lots of marmots on the way up, some who were just waiting for their pictures to be taken. Lots of people on the trail as it was a holiday weekend. I finished the trail and also went on the pebble Creek trail to Muir Snow Fields. I was heading back towards the INN around 1230 and it was extremely hot by this time. This hike is totally exposed to the sun. Bring water and a snack and electrolytes. I brought a water filter so I could filter water as I hiked which is a much better alternative to carrying too much heavy water. There are plenty of water sources on this hike. Take breaks and take time to enjoy the surroundings. Remember trail etiquette for on your way down, step off to the side and let the people that are going up keep their momentum. I ran into so many people who had no idea of this rule of thumb on a steep trail. Be courteous to other hikers and pick up trash if you see it. I have noticed that as more and more people come out on the trails there is more and more trash left behind by people who don't care. Follow the LNT (leave no trace) rules. Happy Hiking ;)

hiking
4 months ago

Got to the trail about 9:45 AM and traffic was starting to pick up. Still wasn't too bad considering it was Labor Day. Trails were very well maintained. Could get away with low top hiking shoes or even tennis shoes. The hardest part of the trail was right at the beginning and it was actually a portion that it paved. Just straight up to the main portion of the trail. There is a bit more of an incline during the actual unpaved portion but it is relatively easy. A majority of the trail has no shade which made it a hot afternoon.

hiking
4 months ago

Trail was well kept and offered stunning views around every turn. Was the perfect distance and difficulty for young, inexperienced hikers like us, and I would recommend this to anyone that just had one day to hike Rainier National Park like what we had.

hiking
4 months ago

Best to check trail conditions before starting out on this one. Due to high elevation of hike, sections may still have snow. Gorgeous views and lots of marmot activity. Bring sturdy shoes, sunscreen and plenty of water as there is no cover.

4 months ago

one of my favorite hikes ever.

4 months ago

Absolutely great hike. Full of great views. A good challenge but not too difficult. Had great wether and clear skies!

hiking
4 months ago

We loved this hike. We had a clear day with blue skies and few clouds. The views were spectacular. We did the hike clockwise, which seemed to be best as the views all the way up to High Skyline were phenomenal. The crowds weren't bad at all and people were friendly. We loved seeing snow as we live in Florida now and don't really care to see it in any other fashion. I'm so happy we had this experience!

hiking
5 months ago

View of Rainier through clouds is completely worth it

5 months ago

amazing views. friendly people. fun to hike through snow in august.

hiking
5 months ago

pretty. cool to see the mountain that close. but my god: all the people! So many people everywhere on this trail(walking path) it was hard to be at one and at peace while hiking. not tranquil and not peaceful at all. my husband and I equated it to walking through pike place market: touristy, pretty, do it once, have no need to go back. way better things to see in other parts of the park by far.

5 months ago

Excellent - agree with other comments about crowds but thins out after panorama point. Do the whole loop - other side is really worth it.

5 months ago

yep, super crowded at beginning and end but worth it. smoke still visable, make sure u go on a clear day since views r outstanding. Wildflowers r awesome

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