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. Campgrounds are available inside Mount Rainier National Park as well as within the surrounding national forest.

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 considered 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
View Mount Rainier National Park in a larger map
Or explore hikes around Mount Rainier National Park on the Hike Finder Map
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Palouse Falls State Park Waterfall Trail Campground Viewpoint Washington
Palouse Falls appears like magic. The drive into Palouse Falls State Park crosses a broad grassy plain where you would never expect to find a waterfall. At the end of the dusty road, the land opens up to reveal a beautiful scene. A 180-foot waterfall plunges from the basalt wall of a gouged-out canyon. A short, 0.15-mile round trip walk explores a clifftop viewpoint with great... Read more.
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Tagged with · LaCrosse · Washington State Parks · Waterfalls
Distance: 0.15 miles · Elevation change: 40 feet
By: Published: Last updated: May 23, 2018
Catherine Creek Arch Columbia River Gorge National Scenic Area Hike Washington
Catherine Creek Arch is a surprising creation - a bridge-like span of rock along a ledge of basalt. A 1-mile round trip hike leads to the foot of Catherine Creek Arch (and longer loops in the area are also possible). This short and sweet outing entertains hikers of all ages. Part of the Columbia River Gorge National Scenic Area, Catherine Creek is located on the Washington side of the west... Read more.
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Tagged with · Arches · Columbia River Gorge National Scenic Area · Free Trails · Lyle
Distance: 1 mile · Elevation change: 100 feet
By: Published: Last updated: May 9, 2018
Catherine Creek Trail Columbia River Gorge National Scenic Area Wildflower Loop Hike Washington
Hikers pack the slopes of Dog Mountain to see spring wildflowers, but tackling a lot of elevation is not required to see one of the best blooms in Columbia River Gorge National Scenic Area. Instead, visit Catherine Creek, where an easy, paved 0.9-mile loop (with just 100 feet of elevation change) floods with wildflowers in the spring and early summer. Catherine Creek Interpretive Trail... Read more.
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Tagged with · Columbia River Gorge National Scenic Area · Free Trails · Lyle · Nature Trails · Wildflowers
Distance: 0.9 miles · Elevation change: 100 feet
By: Published: Last updated: May 9, 2018
Pothole Falls Round Lake Loop Lacamas Potholes Lacamas Lake Regional Park Camas Washington Hike
Potholes aren't always bad. The creatively carved-out bedrock at Pothole Falls adds to the allure of the cascades. Pothole Falls is just a stone's throw from Round Lake, a 26-acre body in Lacamas Lake Regional Park in Camas, Washington. Round Lake Loop Trail offers a relaxing nature trail through lake-edge forest. Circle Round Lake and check out Pothole Falls on a 1.6-mile outing with 200... Read more.
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Tagged with · Camas · Free Trails · Lacamas Lake Regional Park · Lakes · Nature Trails · Waterfalls
Distance: 1.6 miles · Elevation change: 200 feet
By: Published: Last updated: January 24, 2018
Dog Mountain Trail Columbia River Gorge National Scenic Area Dog Mountain Loop Hike Washington
It isn't pack mentality that makes Dog Mountain one of the most popular hikes on the Washington side of the Columbia River Gorge. The grassy slopes near the summit put on a winning display of spring wildflowers, enhancing year-round views over the gorge's beautiful surroundings. Dog Mountain Trail is steep and largely forested, ascending 2,825 feet in 3 /13 miles. Two viewpoints along the... Read more.
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Tagged with · Cascade Range · Columbia River Gorge National Scenic Area · Free Trails · Stevenson · Summits
Distance: 7.4 miles · Elevation change: 2825 feet
By: Published: Last updated: May 9, 2018