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

    Mount Rainier

    National Park Washington

There are park alerts in effect.
show Alerts »
  • 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 »

Pacific Crest Trail

Pacific Crest Trail route from Hwy 410 at Chinook Pass to Three Lakes/ NE.
A map of the Pacific Crest Trail from Chinook Pass skirting the eastern border of park and Wenatchee National Forest.  A round trip includes using the Laughing Water Creek and Eastside Trails inside the park.  Use of a topographic map of the area is recommended.
 

Trail Description:

Distance, round-trip, Chinook Pass, Three Lakes, Laughing Creek, Eastside Trail.

28 miles

Elevation gain:

1000 ft.

Hiking time, round-trip:

10 hours

Wilderness camps:

No

Several miles of the 2500-mile Mexico to Canada Pacific Crest National Scenic Trail pass through or near Mount Rainier National Park along the park's eastern boundary.


From the north, the Pacific Crest Trail can be accessed at Chinook Pass where it crosses SR 410 via a log bridge, or from the Tipsoo Lake Loop Trail. South of Chinook Pass 10.5 miles, the trail branches west to Three Lakes and Ohanapecosh via the Laughingwater Creek Trail (5.8 miles to the trailhead on SR 123, one mile north of Ohanapecosh), and east toward US 12 at White Pass. Distance from Laughingwater Creek trailhead to Three Lakes is 5.8 miles, distance from the trailhead to the Pacific Crest Trail is approximately 8 miles.


Along the Trail:


The trail goes up and down as it traverses the crest of the Cascades between 5500' and 5800'. Hikers find themselves sometimes in subalpine forests but mostly in meadows, passing lakes and ponds, waterfalls and fields of flowers along the way. Spectacular views of Mount Rainier and other peaks delight hikers.


Backpacking:


There are no sites suitable for camping along the Pacific Crest Trail within Mount Rainier National Park. Camping at Anderson Lake is not allowed. However, camping is permitted on adjacent United States Forest Service lands. For backpackers who plan to camp elsewhere within Mount Rainier National Park, opportunities exist both at designated trailside camps and in crosscountry zones. Permits are required for camping. The Pacific Crest Trail is the only trail within the park on which pets are allowed because its long course leaves and re-enters the park boundary often. Pets must be leashed, however. Fires are prohibited. 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.