Hikes in Mount Rainier National Park

When the sky is blue and summer lupines are booming across the alpine grasses, Mount Rainier is one of the most beautiful places in the world. The park is often blanketed in fog, so if you see the park on a clear day, consider yourself very lucky. There is a lot to see. The 14,411-foot volcano is covered with more glaciers than any other mountain in the lower 48. It is the highest summit in the Cascade Mountain Range and all of Washington.

Highlights of Mount Rainier National Park

  • This tremendously scenic 5.5-mile loop explores the slopes of Mount Rainier and should be consider the park's must-do hike.
  • This 6-mile hike visits a fire lookout tower near the summit of Mount Fremont with incredible views over Mount Rainier and the surrounding mountains.
  • This 3.75-mile loop crosses fields of summer wildflowers, passes subalpine lakes, and offers great views of Mount Rainier.
  • This 3-mile loop travels through an old-growth forest to a waterfall on Ohanapecosh River in the southeast corner of Mount Rainier National Park.

Mount Rainier National Park

On a visit to Mount Rainier, you can see old-growth forests, meadows of wildflowers, and fields of snow, all at the base of a dauntingly beautiful mountain. According to wikipedia:

[Mount Rainier] is the most topographically prominent mountain in the contiguous United states … [and] is considered one of the most dangerous volcanoes in the world.

The nearest trailheads to Mount Rainier are called Paradise and Sunrise,accompanied by historic lodges and visitor centers. To summit Mount Rainier requires technical climbing and is best attempted through a guide service. Mount Rainier National Park was the nation’s fifth national park, born on March second, 1899. The park protects 368 square miles of Central Washington and offers hundreds of miles of hiking trails.

Mount Rainier National Park Hiking

This collection of trails in Mount Rainier National Park lists hikes from north to south. The table may also be sorted alphabetically or by distance to help you pick your next hike. Each trail links to its own report complete with photos, GPS maps, elevation profiles, directions, and all the other information needed to locate and enjoy these hikes. Below the table is an interactive map showing the location of each hike.

Trail
Description
Distance
Location
Mount Fremont Lookout550Mount Fremont Lookout Trail
This out and back hike visits a fire lookout tower near the summit of Mount Fremont with incredible views over Mount Rainier and the surrounding mountains.
6 miles
800 feet
46.914598,
-121.642045
Mount Rainier Naches Peak600Naches Peak Loop Trail
This colorful loop crosses fields of summer wildflowers, passes subalpine lakes, and offers great views of Mount Rainier.
3.75 miles
575 feet
46.869727,
-121.520033
Mount Rainier Skyline Trail650Skyline Trail
This tremendously scenic loop on the slopes of Mount Rainier is consider the park's must-do hike.
5.5 miles
1,625 feet
46.786691,
-121.734536
Mount Rainier Silver Falls700Silver Falls Loop Trail
This loop travels through an old-growth forest to a waterfall on Ohanapecosh River in the southeast corner of the park.
3 miles
300 feet
46.7362,
-121.5664
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Or explore hikes around Mount Rainier National Park on the Hike Finder Map
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Camping in Beacon Rock State Park Main Campground Columbia River Gorge Washington
Tucked into the Washington side of the Columbia River Gorge, Beacon Rock State Park has great places camp and kick back after a day of traveling in the gorge or hiking Hamilton Mountain and Beacon Rock. Main Campground In the forest up the road from Hamilton Mountain Trailhead, you'll find the park's main campground spread around a single loop. A mossy ledge of basalt... Read more.
By: Published: Last updated: July 10, 2017
Hamilton Mountain Trail Beacon Rock State Park Hike Washington Columbia River Gorge Pool of the Winds Rodney Falls Hike Hamilton Mountain Loop
Only hike Hamilton Mountain Trail if you like charming forests, bold waterfalls, and awesome cliff-top views. Hamilton Mountain Trail passes a viewpoint for the Pool of the Winds, where Rodney Falls plunges into a rock-wrapped punchbowl. The trail rises to a summit along the Columbia River Gorge, ascending 2,025 feet on a 7.75-mile lollipop loop. Some of Hamilton... Read more.
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Tagged with · Beacon Rock State Park · Stevenson · Summits · Washington State Parks · Waterfalls
Distance: 7.75 miles · Elevation change: 2025 feet
By: Published: Last updated: July 10, 2017
Beacon Rock Trail Beacon Rock State Park Hike Washington Columbia River Gorge
Beacon Rock rises like a stone tower with sheer cliffs dropping to the Columbia River. Beacon Rock Trail could be the Columbia River Gorge relative of Moro Rock Trail in Sequoia National Park. The trail is built right up the side of the basalt monolith, using over fifty switchbacks and at least a dozen cliff-straddling bridges to reach a pointed summit. The hike up... Read more.
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Tagged with · Beacon Rock State Park · Stevenson · Summits · Washington State Parks
Distance: 1.6 miles · Elevation change: 600 feet
By: Published: Last updated: July 10, 2017
Guler Ice Cave hike Washington Gifford Pinchot National Forest
The Cascade Range is home to many caves including volcanic lava tubes and glacier ice caves. The Guler Ice Cave south of Mount Adams offers a sample of both. Through the early summer this cave contains impressive ice features like frozen stalactites and stalagmites. You will see the most ice if you visit in April and May. As the season warms the cave loses its ice, but... Read more.
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Tagged with · Caves · Gifford Pinchot National Forest · Lava Tubes
Distance: 0.25 miles · Elevation change: 25 feet
By: Published: Last updated: July 9, 2017
Skyline Trail Mount Rainier National Park hike Washington Paradise Panorama Point Skyline Trail Loop
Is there a better hike in Mount Rainier National Park than Skyline Trail? The hike begins from Paradise, a perfectly named destination on the southern slope of Mount Rainier. Loop up to Panorama Point, a stunning viewpoint that is about as close to the summit of Rainier as you can get without an ice ax. The trail passes snowfields, streams, waterfalls, and fields of... Read more.
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Tagged with · National Parks · Wildflowers
Distance: 5.5 miles · Elevation change: 1625 feet
By: Published: Last updated: May 22, 2017