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Sunrise Rim Trail Hike

Mount Rainier National Park, Washington

Mount Rainier Area, Washington

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Sunrise Rim Trail Hike

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  • Yakima Park meadow near Shadow Lake.- Sunrise Rim Trail Hike
  • Shadow Lake in Yakima Park.- Sunrise Rim Trail Hike
  • View overlooking Yakima Park toward Sourdough Ridge.- Sunrise Rim Trail Hike
  • Mount Rainier National Park's Sunrise Rim Trail.- Sunrise Rim Trail Hike
  • View of Mount Rainier (14,411') from Sunrise Rim Trail.- Sunrise Rim Trail Hike
  • Sunrise Rim Trail.- Sunrise Rim Trail Hike
  • Cascade aster (Aster ledophyllus).- Sunrise Rim Trail Hike
  • Cascade aster (Aster ledophyllus).- Sunrise Rim Trail Hike
  • View looking east over the White River Valley from the Sunrise Rim Trail.- Sunrise Rim Trail Hike
  • Pine cones of the Pacific silver fir (Abies amabilis).- Sunrise Rim Trail Hike
  • Sunrise Rim Trail.- Sunrise Rim Trail Hike
  • View looking down toward the lake on the Emmons Moraine.- Sunrise Rim Trail Hike
  • Mount Rainier (14,411') from the Sunrise Rim Trail.- Sunrise Rim Trail Hike
  • Flat plateau on top of the first Burrough Mountain.- Sunrise Rim Trail Hike
  • View looking southeast from the Sunrise Rim Trail.- Sunrise Rim Trail Hike
  • View looking northeast at Glacier Peak (10,525') from the Sunrise Rim Trail atop Burroughs Mountain.- Sunrise Rim Trail Hike
  • View looking southeast toward Goat Rocks.- Sunrise Rim Trail Hike
Overview + Weather
Pros: 
Panomamic vistas of Mount Rainier. Somewhat less traveled than other trails in the Sunrise area.
Cons: 
Relatively narrow trail with some scree.
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Region:
Mount Rainier Area, WA
Congestion: 
High
Preferable Season(s):
Summer, Fall
Day-Use/Parking Pass Required:
National Park Pass
Total Distance: 
5.70 mi (9.17 km)
Trailhead Elev.: 
6,400 ft (1,951 m)
Net Elev. Gain: 
800 ft (244 m)
Trail Uses:
Hiking
Trail type: 
There-and-back/Loop
Dogs allowed: 
No
Current Local Weather:
Powered by Dark Sky

Today

Partly cloudy until evening.
45°F
34°

Sun

Mostly cloudy throughout the day.
50°F
36°

Mon

Light rain until evening.
47°F
39°

Tue

Mostly cloudy until afternoon.
57°F
41°

Wed

Partly cloudy starting in the evening.
62°F
44°

Thu

Clear throughout the day.
64°F
47°

Fri

Light rain starting in the evening.
60°F
46°
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Hike Description

Hike Description

Team

Of all the day hikes in Washington's Mount Rainier National Park, none exposes the phenomenal power of Mount Rainier's glaciers more than hiking on the Sunrise Rim Trail.

Like most there-and-back trails, hikers can choose the degree of difficulty by simply choosing their return point.  For the Sunrise Rim Trail their are two lovely options that are sure to appeal to a wide-variety of visitors:

The first option is a casual, kid-friendly, 3.0-mile round-trip stroll down to Yakima Park to enjoy the still waters and wildflowers surrounding Shadow Lake along with a 0.2-mile diversion to the Emmons Overlook. Along the way you'll pass Sunrise Camp and tightly packed groves of Pacific silver and subalpine fir. Once at the Overlook, you'll stand on top of a well-crafted stone viewpoint that towers roughly 2,800 feet above the White River and commands panoramic views of Emmons Glacier, Little Tahoma, Goat Island Mountain, and 14,409-foot Mount Rainier.

The second option is 5.7 miles total, and this route continues from the Emmons Overlook an additional 1.8 miles to the top of 7,402-foot Burroughs Mountain, the highest point in the park that is accessible by maintained hiking trail. This 1.8-mile addition traverses the glacially-carved rim, with constantly exposed views of Rainier on a relatively narrow trail though rocky scree fields to gain elevation up to the first Burrough. From the top you can either head back down the Sunrise Rim Trail or make a loop of the hike (6 miles total) by returning on the Sourdough Ridge Trail, where you'll have glimpses north as far as Mount Baker on clear days.

Note: Because of its 6,400-foot elevation and the extensive snowpack throughout the higher elevations of Mount Rainier National Park, the road leading up to Sunrise can be closed as late as early July and closes again in October. Those who want to hike the Sunrise Rim Trail have roughly a four-month window of opportunity.

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Updates, Tips + Comments

Field Guide + Trail Map

Field Guide + Trail Map

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Location + Directions

Location + Directions

Nearby Camping + Lodging

(17 within a 30 mile radius)

Nearby Adventures

(58 within a 30 mile radius)

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