Easily one of the most popular day-hikes on Mount Rainier’s eastern side, the 5-mile Tipsoo Lake and Naches Loop Trail offers huge views in all directions. The trail begins at Tipsoo Lake, close to the summit of Chinook Pass, and circumnavigates Naches Peak. What makes this hike so ideal is that the trailhead is at roughly 5,400 feet, so there is modest elevation gain, and the route flanks the Washington drainage divide (think Continental Divide, only for Washington) with clear vistas of Mount Rainier to the west and panoramic views of the Wenatchee foothills to the east.
Unfortunately, because of the high elevation and prominence above the adjacent valleys, the trail is locked up in snow for the majority of the year, with the trail not truly clearing up until August. Once the snow melts, however, the meadow landscape comes alive with lush displays of magenta paintbrush, western pasque flower, varieties of larkspur, and bear grass.
Walk the trail in a clockwise direction for the best views of Mount Rainier. If you are backpacking overnight, continue south down the PCT to Dewey Lake, Anderson Lake, Bachelor's Ridge, or all the way to Cougar Lake.
Note: Dogs are not permitted on the trails in Mount Rainier National Park.