Located beyond the least utilized entrance to Mt. Rainier National Park (Don't expect a crowd). Amazing drive up to the trailhead. Fall colors. Well maintained trail - 6.5 miles roundtrip. Pristine alpine lakes and scenery.

Starting out from the beautiful Mowich Lake (4,929 ft), this hike takes you through some of Mt. Rainier Nation Park's best scenery. Thanks to the 13 miles of dirt roads it takes to even get to the trailhead, this hike is also rarely crowded. At 6.5 miles roundtrip to Eunice Lake, this is a great hike for beginners looking for a true alpine experience. The lake itself is so clear and blue that you can see right to the bottom. Tolmie Peak shoots up directly from the lake's shore, casting it's reflection over the lake if the winds are calm. This vertical rock face is quite impressive, and creates amazing photo opportunities as the sun sets upon it. Enjoy the trails around the base of the lake, and see all of the amazing views to be had. This is truly a special place.

For those looking for a bit more of a challenge, continue the extra mile to the Tolmie Peak Lookout (5,900 ft.). Once you can feel your legs again, enjoy the breathtaking views from the retired fire lookout that still remains. The views from Tolmie Peak are in my opinion, unmatched in Washington State. The extra mile to the lookout is very steep, and in my experience, not for everyone. For example, my group of friends who don't hike often could not make it. The hike just to Eunice Lake is a great hike by itself.

Getting There:

From Puyallup, drive 13 miles east on State Route 410 to Buckley. Turn right (south) onto SR 165 and proceed through Carbonado. Just beyond the Carbon River Gorge bridge, bear right onto Mowich Lake Road. Follow the road about 17 miles to its end and find the trailhead on the left (north) side of the road, near Mowich Lake.

WARNING SR 165 is dirt and gravel for about 13 miles up to Mowich Lake. Plan accordingly.

Pack List

  • Camera
  • Hiking boots
  • Extra layers, the weather can change quickly when you're up this high in the Cascades.
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RT Distance 6.5 Miles
Activities Camping, Fishing, Photography, Swimming, Backpacking, Hiking
Skill Level Intermediate
Season Spring, Summer, Autumn
Trail Type Out-and-Back
Features
Beach
Easy Parking
Forest
Groups
Lake
Scenic
Wildflowers
Wildlife
Swimming Hole

Please respect the places you find on The Outbound Collective.

Always practice Leave No Trace ethics on your adventures. Be aware of local regulations and don't damage these amazing places for the sake of a photograph. Learn More

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