Outbound Collective logo

Skyline Loop in Mt. Rainier NP

Ashford, Washington

4.5/5
based on 2 reviews

Details

Distance

5.65 miles

Elevation Gain

1722 ft

Route Type

Loop

Description

Added by Jared Blitz

The draw is pretty self-explanatory the moment you get there. Nisqually Glacier towering above, wildflowers in full bloom surrounding you, tremendous viewpoints, cool air-- there isn't a much better place to be during the summer.

The trailhead to Skyline Trail is located at the north side of the upper parking lot near the Visitor Center and Paradise Inn. You'll see that it breaks off into many other small trails if you want, as well. However, this 5.5 mile hike alongside Nisqually Glacier is classified by the rangers at Mt. Rainier as strenuous. I would say for the first 1/2 mile or so that rings true. It almost feels like a vertical climb at times, but the trail is asphalt for this part so footing isn't an issue. Once you're past this point the trail becomes a lot more tolerable if you're in decent shape.

Your goal should be to get to Panorama Point at 6800ft. From here you get to see anything and everything in the park as well as a good look at the trail loop (also a pit toilet up here). Even a mediocre sunset makes you feel like you don't want to be anywhere else in the world if you're there for wildflower season. I'm not a botanist, so I can only tell you there were a variety of plants and flowers in yellow, green, pink, blue, purple, red, white, beige...it's a spectacular sight. You certainly won't have to look too hard for whistling marmots either. They're everywhere!

Read More

Download the Outbound mobile app

Find adventures and camping on the go, share photos, use GPX tracks, and download maps for offline use.

Get the app
Download GPX File

Features

Camping
Photography
Hiking
Bathrooms
Easy Parking
Family Friendly
Groups
Picnic Area
Scenic
Wildflowers
Wildlife

Reviews

An absolutely stunning hike with sweeping views of Mount Rainier and the Cascade Range to the south, including the dramatic Tatoosh Wilderness Peaks. We hiked this on August 15 (Saturday) and the wildflowers were in full bloom. We arrived to the trailhead at 6:45am and the parking lot was almost full. There were TONS of people on the trail up to Panorama Point but after that we had some more solitude. There were still some sections of trail still covered in snow, but we were able to handle them without poles. Highly recommend this hike, but get there early to beat the crowds!

That elevation gain takes you by SURPRISE! Bring your poles, I’m glad my dad and I did. The view is worth it!!

Leave No Trace

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

Nearby

Winter Camp at Glacier Vista

Hike to Panorama Point

Snowshoe the Skyline Trail

Summit Mount Rainier via the Muir Route

Snowshoe or Ski to Mazama Ridge

Backpack the Wonderland Trail