Just to the east of Mount Rainier and the White River, the Pacific Crest Trail (PCT) follows the length of a ridge all the way from Crag Mountain in the south to Crystal Mountain to the north. This section of the PCT winds in and out of rocky peaks to gain dramatic perspectives of "Big Tahoma” as it dips up and down and connects subalpine lakes like a string of opal pearls. Two of these most accessible bodies of water are Dewey Lake and Anderson Lake. This hike starts at the PCT's junction with Highway 410 and meanders through meadows of alpine wildflowers including bear grass, avalanche lily, yellow glacier lily, western pasque flower, and small-flowered paintbrush. On your way down to double-bodied Dewey Lake, you’ll drop into a forest dominated by subalpine fir and mountain hemlock.
If you are backpacking, consider continuing on an additional 1.8 miles to American Lake, or 4.0 miles to Cougar Lake. If you are camped out near Anderson Lake, get on the semi-developed trail and scramble your way up to the summit of Bachelor’s Ridge (1.3 miles from Anderson Lake and a 700-foot climb) where you’ll gain spectacular views of Mount Rainier, Unicorn Peak, Goat Rocks, Mount Adams, Mount St. Helens, and on particularly clear days, Mount Hood.
Note: Dogs are not permitted on trails in Mount Rainier National Park, so if you are venturing in with your K9 friend, stay on the PCT that flanks the east side of Naches Peak, and do not hike toward Tipsoo Lake.