• Mount Rainier peeks through clouds, viewed across subalpine wildflowers and glacial moraine.

    Mount Rainier

    National Park Washington

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  • Nisqually to Paradise delays and Kautz Creek area closure.

    Road construction from the Nisqually Entrance to Longmire. Expect a 30-minute delay, Monday through Friday. Beginning May 29 to mid-July, all services at the Kautz Creek parking and picnic area are closed through the week. Limited parking on Sat & Sun. More »

  • Melting snow bridges and high streamflows create hazards for hikers, skiers, and snowshoers

    Be aware of hidden- and potentially fatal- hazards created by snow bridges and high streamflows on Mount Rainier. More »

Glacier Basin Trail

Trail route from White River to Glacier Basin/ NE.
A map of the Glacier Basin trail route from White River. Use of a topographic map of the area is recommended.
 

Trail Description:

Distance, round-trip:

7 miles

Elevation gain:

1280 feet

Hiking time, round-trip:

4 hours

Wilderness camps:

Glacier Basin Camp

Although an effort was made to mine copper ore in this area in the late 1800s, nothing of commercial value was ever extracted and mining efforts were eventually suspended.

Drive through the White River Entrance Station and continue five miles to the White River Campground. Be sure to park in the hiker/climber parking area and not in a campsite. The trail begins at the upper end of the campground.

This route was once an old mining road which was rehabilitated for trail use. It follows the White River for 3.5 miles. At first the ascent is gradual, but becomes steeper on the final section before entering Glacier Basin. A climber's track continues past Glacier Basin camp, passing through an area of fragile wetland plants to the base of the Inter Glacier. Please stay on the trail to protect the vegetation.


Along the
Trail:


One mile beyond the trailhead is a junction with the Emmons Moraine Trail. This one-mile round-trip spur trail leads to a viewpoint which overlooks the Emmons Glacier, the largest glacier in the 48 contiguous United States. From Glacier Basin, look for mountain goats on the surrounding slopes and climbers ascending the Inter Glacier to Steamboat Prow.


Backpacking:


Campsites at Glacier Basin are popular with climbers who are beginning their ascent of Mount Rainier. The sites are located in the trees as one approaches the open meadows of the basin. Permits are required for camping. Permits and current trail conditions are available park-wide from wilderness information centers, ranger stations, visitor centers and on our web site. Fires are prohibited. No pets on trails. Treat water before drinking.

Did You Know?

The toe of Carbon Glacier appears dirty as it is covered in silt. Mount Rainier is in the background.

Carbon Glacier, on the north side of Mount Rainier, comes to the lowest elevation of any glacier in the lower 48 states at 3500 feet. It is also Mount Rainier's thickest glacier, one section being nearly 700 feet thick.