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Hike Tatoosh Ridge from Tatoosh Trail #161

Packwood, Washington



12 miles

Elevation Gain

4100 ft

Route Type



Added by Jess Fischer

A beautiful, challenging hike that will take you up into the Tatoosh Wilderness with fantastic views of Mount Rainier and surrounding volcanic peaks.

At the trailhead kiosk be sure to get one of the provided (and required) self-serve Wilderness Permit. Starting at the trailhead begin your initial accent following the marked trail on the side of the road. In the first two 2.5 miles you will climb 2,745 feet, it's hard but luckily a majority of this climb will be in the shade of a forest. At roughly 2.5 miles you will intersect with another trail that appears to continue going straight up to your left, that will take you to a viewpoint of Rainier in 0.3 miles but for this hike (and for the better views) continue straight/to the right. From here you will still be hiking uphill, but at a lesser incline than before. At roughly 5 miles (total from the start) you will see a sign for Trail 161A. You will have to turn back sharply to your left as you begin climbing the new trail. If there is no sharp turn onto a trail, you've gone the wrong way. From here you will climb about a mile to reach the lookout point. On a clear day you can see Mount Rainier, Mount Hood, Mount St. Helens and Mount Adams as well as the surrounding ranges. Rest, relax and take in the views before returning via the same trail you took up. 

Directions from Packwood: turn north from Highway 12 onto Skate Creek Road S. In 4 miles, turn right on gravel road FR 5270 (the road has potholes and can be rough at times). Before hitting 10 miles you'll veer right at the "Y" and keep driving until you see the trailhead sign. There is some room on the side of the forest road to park. 

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