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

    Mount Rainier

    National Park Washington

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Golden Lakes Trail

Trail Description:

Distance, round-trip:

20.4 miles

Elevation gain:

1900 feet

Hiking time, round-trip:

10 hours

Wilderness camps:

Golden Lakes Camp

This area of fifteen or more small lakes was so named because of the golden sunset colors reflected from the lakes' surfaces. The length of this hike, however, makes it a two-day experience.


Starting at Mowich Lake, follow the Wonderland trail south, descending to the South Mowich River before climbing a steep ascent up to Golden Lakes.


Along the
Trail:


Enjoy the hike through old growth forest to the South Mowich River, before reaching Golden Lakes. A historic Patrol Cabin still stands near the trail at Golden Lakes.


Backpacking:


Some of the campsites at Golden Lakes provide good views and easy access to the lakes. Permits are required for camping. Permits and current trail conditions are available park-wide from wilderness information centers, ranger stations, and visitor centers. Fires are prohibited. No pets on trails. Treat water before drinking.

Did You Know?

Excerpt from a page of Kenneth Arnold's report showing notes and sketches of the

On June 24th, 1947, pilot Kenneth Arnold sighted nine strange objects "flying like a saucer would" passing by his plane as he flew near Mount Rainier. His encounter is considered the first widely reported UFO sighting, and triggered many similar accounts of "flying saucers".