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Skyline Trail

HARD 682 reviews

Skyline Trail is a 5.3 mile heavily trafficked loop trail located near Montesano, Washington that features a waterfall and is rated as difficult. The trail is primarily used for hiking, walking, nature trips, and snowshoeing and is best used from July until October.

DISTANCE
5.3 miles
ELEVATION GAIN
1,758 feet
ROUTE TYPE
Loop

hiking

nature trips

snowshoeing

walking

forest

partially paved

river

views

waterfall

wild flowers

wildlife

bugs

muddy

rocky

snow

no dogs

Trail loops around broad Edith Creek basin, leading through alpine flower meadows, past thundering waterfalls, and over high, craggy peaks. In this one loop you'll experience the best paradise region has to offer. Users recommend going counter clockwise.

hiking
22 days ago

Great trail. Take spikes for the icy parts. We went in July. Beautiful weather. Great day.

hiking
28 days ago

Beautiful trail and a must do if you are in the area for the day. Paved pretty much the entire way and an easy grade. Not sure how this is getting a HARD rating. It's a nice stroll. Some amazing scenery with Mt .Rainier looming in the background.

hiking
1 month ago

Was amazing hike beautiful Saturday 2/2/19.

hiking
2 months ago

Hiked this trail late August; Weather wasn't great - Cloudy all around and did not get a good view from the summit. Nevertheless meadow section was great and was a good hike

hiking
2 months ago

Hiked this trail in early October 2018 on a day with very bad weather conditions. We had no views because there was fog everywhere around us. But we loved it anyways! It wasn’t crowed (due to the time of the year and the weather I guess) and we enjoyed to be alone on the trail. It’s definitely strenuous but totally doable. We even had the chance to spot marmots on our way and the fall colors were amazing. Totally recommend it - if we‘re ever going back to Mt. Rainier, we hope to hike it again in better conditions.

2 months ago

I’m an avid PNW hiker, and I can honestly say that there’s nothing else quite like this. The first part is paved and I was so disheartened by the mobs of tourists... after a mile or so once the trail gets steeper, things calm down. Despite its busyness and my preference for solitude, I still feel that this was my best hike of 2018. It was worth every single step. I adore this hike!!

4 months ago

Some of the best views I've ever witnessed. The view when you have Mount Rainier to your back around Panorama Point is the best view on the trail but there's also a beautiful waterfall. Highly recommended!

hiking
4 months ago

My wife and I drove from Olympic NP in the morning (after spending the week there) to do this hike before catching the red eye out of SEA and we are so glad we did. Amazing scenery with lots of wildlife (we counted 17 marmots) and wildflowers (past peak but there we still some stragglers). Since it was later in the afternoon it was actually pretty quiet and secluded once you got away from the crowds at the visitor center. One of our favorite hikes of the week.

hiking
4 months ago

This was a beautiful trail. I went with a large group of CrossFit folks. The ones leading were pretty competitive, so the pace wasn’t great. I’ll set the pace next time and try it clockwise for something different. Also doing it in October, you miss the beautiful wildflowers.

hiking
5 months ago

Hike with fantastic and unbeatable views - Rainer, to the south (Cascades, Adams), waterfalls. Didn’t the hike in 2.5 hours, with a bit of time spent on photos. Went through 0.5L of water. Plan on 1L at least. Very doable in a short period of time. Colors are past peak, but still quite nice. Only about 10 cars at Paradise when I arrived at 9am (Monday)

5 months ago

I was not in shape to do this hike, but I'm glad I did. Spectacular views of Mt. St. Helens!

hiking
5 months ago

Loved this hike! If you go clockwise, you’ll start with a pretty brutal climb that pays in beautiful Rainier views early on. Lots of stairs and rocky ground after the pavement is done so recommend good boots.

Lower Skyline across the snow field has a VERY steep decline. We made it across but wished we’d had ice cleats or something as we slid on the hill a bunch.

Last mile has fall colors to die for and waterfalls galore! If you’re not up for the full loop, recommend going counterclockwise to see the colors!

5 months ago

Absolutely gorgeous. Take the side trail to Myrtle Falls, and be sure to download directions for offline use ahead of time. No service, and the park is huge and easy to get turned around in.

hiking
5 months ago

Beautiful! The reports were confusing to me on clockwise vs counter clockwise so Ill share with you that if you start out going up the John Muir quote stairs you are walking up mostly a paved incline for a good portion of the initial ascent. If you turn right as you face the mountain from the visitor center and go up toward the lodge and waterfall, not only are those the best fall colors if you’re cheating and only going a mile in, but you will also encounter far more rock stairs going this route (counter clockwise). Personally, I wish I had gone counter clockwise because the steps down were brutal on the knees and the paved incline would have been easier. That tip aside - I saw a mama bear munching berries, an avalanche, marmots, friendly birds and chipmunks and SUCH BEAUTIFUL FALL COLORS it was like being in a painting.

5 months ago

Beautiful fall hike. Incredible colors right now!

hiking
5 months ago

My daughter and I hiked this trail yesterday plus we added on the Paradise Glacier Trail, which adds another 1.5 miles. I am a 67 year old active woman, and though I went down slowly, I had no problems. We went clockwise, doing the steepest paved section first, and I am very glad we did to make it easier on my knees. We had perfect weather. The 7+ miles took us about 5 hours, with lots of photo stops, snack stop and lunch stop. If you can walk, you can do this trail, just take your time and enjoy the beauty!

5 months ago

Beautiful fall hike w fall colors. No view of MR due to heavy fog at higher elevation. Saw 44 marmots in 1st 4 mi. Did this hike counterclockwise which was suggested. The 1st half was beautiful. It got a little dicey up top, less marked and rocky, steep as we crossed over the highpoint of our hike. Good glacier views.
Would do again!

hiking
6 months ago

Hiked this trail with my boyfriend and parents. Absolutely STUNNING! One of the most beautiful hikes I’ve ever done. I have been to Mt. Rainier National Park twice. The first time was in June and it was so foggy that I actually never ended up seeing the mountain (and I visited the visitor center at Paradise). The second time was this past August and it was a beautiful, clear day. My boyfriend and I live in the North Georgia mountains and we have some experience hiking, whereas my parents don’t have much. We were all able to successfully hike this trail right at 4 hours (with a stop to go to the bathroom as well as a stop for lunch). It definitely is strenuous, but doable. Not doable for anyone who cannot do steep inclines and/or declines. We got to the parking lot at around 8:45 and there were still plenty of parking spaces, however there were none when we got off the trail around 1.

I would highly suggest attempting this trail if you visit Mount Rainier. Simply breathtaking!

hiking
6 months ago

This hike is great because it comes with a lot of wildlife! I saw a bunch of marmots and chipmunks everywhere. Super amazing views of rainier as you hike towards it and away through green meadows. Highly recommend for the first hike if your going to paradise

hiking
6 months ago

Great hike, great panorama.

hiking
6 months ago

Great hike! Hard to beat the views of Rainier. Crowds were pretty intense, especially on west side of the loop, otherwise I would have given it 5 stars.

6 months ago

Amazing! Great workout

hiking
6 months ago

Spectacular views! One of our favorite hikes. Suggest starting early, it gets crowded. Beautiful contrast of colors with greens and blues. We were fortunate enough to be here on a clear day where we could see Mt. Hood Mt. St Helens and Mt. Adams. We opted to go counter-clockwise on the loop to save our legs on the way down and get the hard, steep part out of the way first. We hiked with my 60-year old parents and they thoroughly enjoyed the trail. Several spots to stop and soak it in, or sit and have lunch.

hiking
6 months ago

What a way to kick off fall season. I’m a little heavier then the average hiker but probably stronger , haha. I started out at 10:00 am and finished at 2:30 pm. It was blue sky and sunshine. You will love the things you see and experience on this hike. Spectacular!! Wow!! It was fun and tough at times especially around high skyline area, up and up but then after that all downhill with the exception of the last 1/2 mile, ugh! Uphill. There is water available from running streams on the way either way ( pebble creek) I filled water bottle and enjoyed ice cold water, tasty! If you have weak a stomach bring filter. I didn’t and felt great. I recorded 5.7 miles finished 2 pounds lighter!!

hiking
6 months ago

Wow!!! The paved road is deceiving. It gets to be a strenuous workout when your hit the boulder stairs. Lots of climbing. Panorama Point was gorgeous. Went super early in the morning on a Wednesday to avoid crowds. By 1pm it was busy and the parking lot was full.

hiking
6 months ago

one of the best

6 months ago

Great hike with breathtaking views! It took us 3 hours to complete with a shortcut. There were a lot of people on the first half of the trail, but it started to thin out the higher up we hiked. Bring lots of water!

hiking
6 months ago

Great trail! I agree with the other posts that it does take 5 hours for the casual hiker. It's beautiful and worth the effort. I also recommend hiking sticks for the wobbly. Bring water, snacks, jacket, beanie, and maybe some gloves for the top! Definitely worth an afternoon spent exploring and taking in the scenery. Based on the other hikers expressions, going counter-clockwise was a smart choice!

hiking
6 months ago

WOW. I didn't believe it when the park ranger told me it would take an estimated 5 hours to hike this trail but he was Right! It's not the incline that slows you down as much as the view. It's absolutely STUNNING and we found ourselves stopping every other minute to take a picture because it just got more and more beautiful! This is my new favorite hike and would recommend it to anyone who is ok with steep hills and some loose rocks. Plan on being on the trail a long time - it's worth it!!

6 months ago

WOW. I didn't believe it when the park ranger told me it would take an estimated 5 hours to hike this trail but he was Right! It's not the incline that slows you down as much as the view. It's absolutely STUNNING and we found ourselves stopping every other minute to take a picture because it just got more and more beautiful! This is my new favorite hike and would recommend it to anyone who is ok with steep hills and some loose rocks. Plan on being on the trail a long time - it's worth it!!

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