Naches Peak–Big Scenic Payoff for little effort

Quick Facts:


August is prime time for wildflowers on the Naches Loop.

Location: Naches Pass, Mount Rainier National Park

Land Agency: United States Park Service

Roundtrip: 4.0 miles

Elevation gain: 600 feet

Green Trails Maps: Mount Rainier Wonderland Map 269S

Contact: Mount Rainier National Park

Notes: Dogs prohibited

Access: From Enumclaw follow SR 410 east to Tipsoo Lake parking area just before Chinook Pass.

Good to Know: exceptional views, kid-friendly, exceptional wildflowers

One of the easiest, most view-packed loops in all of Mount Rainier National Park—don’t expect to be alone on this classic hike. But do expect to be dazzled by fields of flowers, mesmerized by glacier-cloaked Mount Rainier, swooned by sweeping views of the Cascade Crest, entertained by gregarious critters and serenaded by sundry birds.

While either direction works for this loop, consider clockwise so you’ll have Mount Rainier in your face as you work your way down off of the Cascade Crest. Also—for optimal photographic results, get on the trail early to capture the mountain shining in the morning light.
From delightful Tipsoo Lake, hike north to the Pacific Crest Trail. Turn right (south) crossing SR 410 on an attractive log bridge soon entering the William O Douglas Wilderness, named for Yakima’s native son who served as a longtime Supreme Court Justice and was an ardent conservationist.


The loop passes a pretty tarn located east of Naches Peak.

Now, follow the Pacific Crest Trail (PCT) winding through fields of flowers and beneath rocky knolls. Enjoy outstanding views east to peaks near and far. Stop to admire a twinkling tarn. After about 2.5 miles, reach a ledge with an excellent view of Dewey Lake shimmering below.
Continue a short distance farther on the PCT and reach a junction. Turn right to head back to the trailhead, but not before cresting a small knoll providing a jaw-slacking view of Mount Rainier! Then, meander through a field of red and purple blossoms, and skirt by another delightful tarn before gently dropping off of the ridge back to Tipsoo Lake. What a hike, uh?!

Looking for more hikes in and around Mount Rainier? Visit!

Looking for some longer hikes in and around Mount Rainier, consult my Backpacking Washington Book.Backpacking Book cover

Need some help finding other things to do in and around Mount Rainier National Park? Consult Northwest TripFinder.NWTFmasthead_layers15

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