Hike Pinnacle Peak, Mt. Rainier NP



2.5 miles

Elevation Gain

1050 ft

Route Type


Added by Sean Van Dommelen

This is a great short hike at 1.3 miles and plenty of elevation gain with 360' views of 3 volcanoes at the top. 

This trailhead is easily accessed at the parking lot at Reflection Lakes in Mount Rainier National Park. A short but sweet hike (1.3 miles one way) that leads to beautiful views of Rainier, Mount Adams, Mount St. Helens, and if clear enough, Mt. Hood (Oregon). 

Pinnacle itself can be climbed to summit but it's an off-trail (class 3-4) scramble up crumbling rock, but well worth it. Just be mindful of your holds and maintain three points of contact at all times. 

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Known for

Rock Climbing



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A moderate, uphill jaunt until you reach the climb

I hiked this trail to the saddle after watching sunrise at Reflection Lake. I'd recommend getting to the trailhead by 8am in order to secure parking. The hike itself is completely uphill on a gradual incline. A beginner could handle it, but expect to go slow if you're new to hiking. Otherwise, it's pretty easy to fly up. Don't forget to turn around regularly for tremendous views of Tahoma. In the early light it's gorgeous. Also, this trail has a section over the saddle that's beautiful to hike around when you're done climbing to the peak or just choose not to.

Try Plummer Peak for an Easy Scramble

Great views of Rainier! I would also recommend following the rightmost trial for no more than a half mile for an easy scramble to Plummer Peak if you don't feel up to tackling Pinnacle Peak itself.

The best bang for your buck

If you're looking for classic Mount Rainier views but don't have a lot of time (or even if you do have a lot of time), this hike should definitely be on your list! After the first quarter mile, you begin to move above the trees and get the most breathtaking views of the mountain. The ascent is a steady climb, but it only gets better as you make your way up to the pass; giving you lots of good reasons to stop and take a few pictures/catch your breath.


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This is a great short hike with awesome views!

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