Last updated: May 18, 2021
Parking - Auto, Scenic View/Photo Spot
Season: Summer Only (June - November)
SR410 is open to vehicles during the summer season only, typically late May-November.
The Chinook Entrance Arch spans the width of the Mather Memorial Parkway (SR 410) at the 5,432 feet Chinook Pass on the eastern boundary of the park. The arch was designed as both an entrance portal and an equestrian overpass, to convey hikers and riders on the Pacific Crest Trail. Designed in the NPS Rustic Architecture style using natural materials, the arch is 90 feet long and the deck of the "bridge" rests on two cedar logs, 36 inches in diameter. Two more logs, 30 inches in diameter, serve as guardwalls. The stone abutments are masonry, consisting of irregular, mostly five-sided stones gathered from the roadsides. Built in 1936 by the Civilian Conservation Corps, the rustic-style arch became deteriorated by the elements and nearly eight decades of use, prompting Mount Rainier National Park to undertake a massive restoration project to preserve this historic structure in 2011 and 2012.
The Chinook Entrance Arch is located near Tipsoo Lake. The area experiences heavy snowfall in winter, with snow lingering well into June or even July. A network of easy trails, suitable for all ages, leads through the subalpine meadows and around the lake. Naches Peak Loop Trail is a popular hike. Starting from Tipsoo Lake, the 3.4 mi (5.5 km) trail connects to the Pacific Crest Trail on the eastern edge of the park, crosses over the Chinook Entrance Arch, then returns to Tipsoo Lake. This trail features superb wildflower displays in midsummer, huckleberries in early fall, and brilliant autumn colors. Note that while pets are allowed on the Pacific Crest Trail, they are not permitted on the portion of the loop trail within the park or around Tipsoo Lake. Swimming or wading is not permitted in the lake. Please stay on the trails at all times to avoid damaging the delicate meadow plants. Picnic tables are available near the parking area.
Tipsoo Lake can experience heavy visitation and parking can be limited. Plan ahead with an alternate destination in mind or come early or late in the day or on a weekday to avoid congestion.
Please note that launching, landing, or operating an unmanned aircraft (drone) is prohibited in Mount Rainier National Park (36 CFR 1.5 (a)(1) Superintendent's Compendium).