Location: Sunrise, Mount Rainier National Park
Land Agency: United States Park Service
Roundtrip: 8.0 miles
Elevation gain: 1700 feet
Green Trails Maps: Mount Rainier Wonderland Map 269S
Contact: Mount Rainier National Park
Notes: Park entrance fee; Dogs prohibited
Access: From Enumclaw follow SR 410 east for 37.5 miles turning right onto the Sunrise Road. Continue for 12.7 miles to trailhead at Sunrise Point.
Good to Know: exceptional views, kid-friendly, exceptional wildflowers
Named for the sour tasting bread favored by miners who once prospected this long and lofty ridge within the shadows of Washington’s grandest mountain; Sourdough’s views are among the sweetest in the park. Follow a well groomed trail along the crest of a 7,000-foot plus ridge darting around craggy knolls and traversing flowered meadows; all while savoring sweeping views of Mount Rainier and hundreds of other peaks far and near.
While this trail skirts just above Sunrise and can be accessed from that popular park gathering spot; start from Sunrise Point instead. This option will allow you to hike quiet sections of the trail, and for you to do the entire four mile trail facing the magnificent mountain. When you can force your eyes away from Washington’s iconic peak, scan the horizons north and south to other prominent peaks, including Mounts Adams and Baker.
From the 6,100-foot trailhead, head west and steadily climb taking time to admire sparkling Sunrise Lake below and the glistening glacier fields of the Mount Rainier across flower draped Yakima Park. Relish the relative serenity of this path as you parallel above the busy Sunrise Road. At 1.2 miles be sure to take the short side trip to 7,006-foot Dege Peak from where you can survey the entire ridge with its numerous pyramidal peaks.
Marvel at thermal riding raptors, sniff fragrant blossoms, and delight in watching scurrying ground squirrels kick up dust across the trail. Continue along the ridge rounding Antler Peak, and perhaps spotting several sets of antlers on the resident deer that frequent the high meadows. At 2.4 miles a trail diverges left to Sunrise. Stay right and now with more company continue across open terrain ignoring another trail to Sunrise and one to Huckleberry Creek. At 4.0 miles the trail ends at a busy junction near appropriately named Frozen Lake. Do an about face and enjoy the trail and the views all over again—this time with the Mountain to your back allowing you to notice some of the less prominent but equally beautiful surrounding peaks and ridges.
For more information on hiking at and around Mount Rainier National Park, check out Visit Rainier
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For family friendly trips you can take around Mount Rainier, check out Northwest TripFinder