Berkeley Park/Grand Park Trail -- Head for the high tableland meadows and the wildflower and green field bonanza at Grand Park. Stay on the trails to protect fragile vegetation. Bring plenty of water -- there's none up here. Head out of the Sunrise parking lot to the Sourdough Ridge Trail, where the view is the most scenic and the road the easiest. At 6,700-foot Frozen Lake, descend toward Berkeley Park, keeping right with the trail to Mystic Lake. Berkeley Camp is 4 miles from Sunrise, and it's another 2.5 miles, mostly uphill, to the Plateau of Grand Park. 13 miles RT. Strenuous. Access: Branches off Sourdough Ridge/Dege Peak Trail.
Burroughs Mountain Trail -- If you can't handle the snow, you might not want to take this trail. This is ice-ax territory, sometimes until early August, so come prepared. Follow the Sunrise Rim Trail, which begins on the south side of the Sunrise Visitor Center parking lot, to Shadow Lake and Sunrise Campground, and to a sharp upturn toward the First Burroughs Peak at 7,000 feet. Beyond this point, you're in a delicate tundra climate, one of the few in the Lower 48. It's possible to take the Frozen Lake Trail at First Burroughs and make a loop back to Sunrise if you don't feel like climbing anymore. However, should you decide to head up the remaining 400 vertical feet, you'll be treated to fantastic views of Mount Rainier and the Emmons and Winthrop glaciers. Total elevation gain is 900 feet. 7 miles RT. Moderate to strenuous. Access: Branches off Sunrise Rim Trail.
Glacier Basin Trail -- Watch for rusting machinery on this journey through a part of the park that wasn't always so protected. You'll see remnants of a mining operation from the late 1800s in this glacial valley. Follow an old road up past the headwaters of the White River. After 1 mile, veer to the left for beautiful views of the Emmons Glacier. Beyond the junction of the trail with the Burroughs Mountain Trail, you'll arrive at Glacier Basin Camp. Look for climbers making the ascent to the summit here, along a secondary route. Elevation gain is about 1,300 feet. 7 miles RT. Moderate to strenuous. Access: Past White River Entrance, in upper area of White River Campground.
Mt. Fremont Lookout Trail -- From the trail head, you climb for about .3 mile along this popular trail through the surrounding meadows, then follow Sourdough Ridge to the left toward Frozen Lake. At the end of the lake, take the fork to the right for the easy 1.3-mile hike to the Mt. Fremont Lookout, where you can get excellent glimpses of the surrounding Cascades. On a clear day, you might even be able to see Seattle. Elevation gain is about 1,200 feet. 5.5 miles RT. Moderate. Access: North end of Sunrise Visitor Center parking lot.
Naches Peak Loop Trail -- This is a popular hike, with stunning views from the top of Naches Peak of the meadows and lakes stretching toward Rainier's icy summit. From the Pacific Crest trail head, head south, traversing the east side of the Naches Peak. There's the junction with the loop that can be taken back to Tipsoo Lake, or continue ahead .5 mile to Dewey Lake, where there are campsites. Elevation gain is 500 feet. A wheelchair-accessible path is at Tipsoo Lake, near the Pacific Crest trail head junction. 3.5 miles RT. Easy. Access: Pacific Crest trail head, near Tipsoo Lake. Follow trail to junction with Naches Peak Loop Trail.
Palisades Lake Trail -- This is a popular trail, so don't expect to get away from other hikers. However, if you're out for a fairly invigorating stroll through forest and meadowlands, this is a good one. It includes small rises and falls in elevation as you wander past small alpine lakes toward a rock outcropping called, appropriately enough, the Palisades. There are also good wilderness campsites a little farther on, at Dick's Lake and Upper Palisades Lake, though they tend to be crowded in the summertime. 7 miles RT. Easy to moderate. Access: Sunrise Visitor Center.
Sourdough Ridge/Dege Peak Trail -- From the trail head, climb to a ridge top and turn east beneath the gaze of Antler Peak, after which you'll cruise along the ridge for wonderful views of Rainier to the south and the brilliant greens of the Yakima parklands below. At the top of Dege Peak, look south for close-up views of the Cowlitz Chimneys and farther-off views of snowcapped Mount Adams. 4.2 miles RT. Easy to moderate. Access: Sunrise Visitor Center.
Sourdough Ridge Nature Trail -- This loop provides you with a brief glimpse of what's on the longer Sourdough Ridge/Dege Peak Trail. This self-guided tour of the summer wildflowers and subalpine meadows is quite popular, and it's good for kids. 1 mile RT. Easy. Access: Sunrise Visitor Center parking lot.
Summerland Trail -- If you want to see some mountain goats, take this trail to Panhandle Gap, about 1.5 miles past the end of the 4-mile, one-way entrance to the Frying Pan Glacier area. Hundreds of hikers can flock to this trail on a peak summer day, so beware. And please stay on the trails to avoid trampling the wildflowers. It's a 3.5-mile graded walk through mature forests before entering the Frying Pan Creek area, where the scenery opens up into the brushy upper Frying Pan Valley. From there it's a steep .5-mile climb to the spectacular Summerland Meadows. The total elevation gain is 1,500 feet. 8.5 miles RT. Easy to moderate. Access: Past White River Entrance, on the way to Sunrise or White River area.
Sunrise Rim Trail -- This is a nature trail with many interpretive signs to tell you what to look for as you gaze up at Mount Rainier, to the north. About 1.5 miles into the trail, you'll arrive at Shadow Lake and, just beyond, the walk-in Sunrise Campground. With a little more effort, you can hike south to the glacier overlook and be awed by the blue-white overhangs of Emmons Glacier and on to the first Burroughs Mountain. Total elevation gain is 900 feet. 4.8 miles RT. Easy to moderate. Access: Sunrise Visitor Center.
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