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

    Mount Rainier

    National Park Washington

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Owyhigh Lakes Trail

Trail route from White River to Owyhigh Lakes/ NE.
A map of the Owyhigh Lakes Trail from White River entrance. Use of a topographic map of the area is recommended.
 

Trail Description:

Distance, round-trip:

7 miles

Elevation gain:

1350 feet

Hiking time, round-trip:

3.5 hours

Wilderness camps:

Tamanos Creek

Drive through the White River Entrance and proceed two miles to a parking area on the right. The trailhead is located across the road.

The trail climbs steadily for 3.5 miles through the forest on a series of switchbacks to reach the lakes.

According to legend, these lakes were named after Yakima Chief "Owhi," who loaned horses to Theodore Winthrop (after whom the Winthrop Glacier was named), when Winthrop was on a trek across the cascades in the mid-1850s.


Along the Trail:


Although this hike offers no views of Mount Rainier, it does offer an array of secluded mountain lakes and meadows aglow with wildflowers in mid-summer. The jagged cliffs of Governors Ridge rise high above the lakes to the east while Tamanos Mountain lies directly west.


Backpacking:


Tamanos Creek Camp is located among the trees three miles from the trailhead, and .5 mile short of the lakes. Although the creek is often dry by late summer, Owyhigh Lakes provide a reliable source of water. Treat water before drinking. 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.

Did You Know?

Floyd Schmoe, Mount Rainier's first full-time Park Naturalist.

Floyd Schmoe was Mount Rainier's first full-time Park Naturalist. In 1923, he launched the park's "Nature Notes", a series of writings on various park-related topics. There are hundreds of editions of the notes in the park's collection, all of which are accessible through the Mount Rainier History & Culture webpage: More...