Hike to Camp Muir, Mt. Rainier

    Rate this Adventure 8.4 miles 4600 ft gain  - Out-and-Back Trail

    Added by Travis Poulson

    Climbing halfway up the prodigious, colossal, staggering Mount Rainier is no simple task, but it’s a day you’ll never forget or regret.

    “Of all the fire-mountains which, like beacons, once blazed along the Pacific Coast, Mount Rainier is the noblest.” John Muir. 

    Hiking to John Muir’s namesake camp will test you, and depending on weather, defeat you. Weather is key. Only hike when conditions are right.

    The ascent begins at the aptly named Paradise parking lot by the Henry M. Jackson Visitor Center in Mount Rainier National Park. Take the well-marked Skyline Trail to Panarama Point, then continue on the Pebble Creek/Camp Muir Trail. The route is 8.4 miles round-trip with an elevation gain of 4,600 feet.

    Depending on  the time of year, you may be hiking in snow the entire way, or much of the way, so bring appropriate footwear. Crampons are optimal, but micro-spikes/yaktraxs will also do the trick. Trekking poles are a must!

    As you hike, be sure to take adequate breaks with food and water. If the sun is shining, it comes at you from all angles reflecting off the snow, so protect yourself. I severely sunburned my nostrils.

    Muir Camp is basecamp for those wishing to summit. There you will find bathrooms (but no TP), a ranger station and backpacker tents squished together in a wind-protected gully on the glacier. Enjoy the overwhelming views. On a clear day, you can see Mount Jefferson to the south 150 miles away.

    Going down is pure joy. Bring a sturdy garbage bag and you may be able slide down over a thousand feet of the descent. Your knees will thank you for that.

    The adventure will take 5 to 9 hours.

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    Leave No Trace

    Always practice Leave No Trace ethics on your adventures and follow local regulations. Please explore responsibly!

    We want to acknowledge and thank the past, present, and future generations of all Native Nations and Indigenous Peoples whose ancestral lands we travel, explore, and play on.

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