From the Tolmie Peak Lookout Tower at 5,939 feet, breathless views extend in every direction! Not only is this view from the top of Tolmie Peak* one of the area's most incredible perspectives on Mount Rainier, you can also see as far north as Mount Baker, Glacier Peak, and all the way out to the Olympic Mountains from this craggy perch.
The trailhead for this hike starts at Mowich Lake, the major crossroad for Mount Rainier National Park's northwest side. Because of its location, adjacency to the Seattle-Tacoma metro area, jaw-dropping views, and the relatively easy approach, the hike to the top of Tolmie Peak is one of the park's most popular.
Past Mowich Lake, the trail actually descends through a thick forest of old-growth noble fir and black huckleberries before it rises back up again at Eunice Lake, where you'll gain the first glimpse of the fire lookout tower. It is roughly 2.4 miles one-way to Eunice Lake, and for many, hiking this far will satisfy their thirst for wilderness. The adjacent wildflowers and still waters of Eunice Lake are reason enough to make the hike. From Eunice Lake it is an additional 600-foot climb to the top of Tolmie Peak, which may look intimidating, but the gentle switchback trail to the top is worth the additional effort.
Note: Backcountry camping is not permitted at Tolmie Peak or Eunice Lake.
* Tolmie Peak is named after William Fraser Tolmie, an early settler and doctor who came to the mountain, led by the Nisqually natives, to collect herbs and to enjoy the Tahoma's natural beauty. It so happened that Tolmie was also the first non-native to have visited the giant volcano.