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Hike to Panorama Point

Ashford, Washington

4.6/5
based on 7 reviews

Details

Distance

5.4 miles

Elevation Gain

1700 ft

Route Type

Loop

Description

Added by Michael Matti

Hike through fields of wildflowers with amazing views of Mt. Rainier. Reservations are now required to backpack/ stay the night, you can learn more here.

This 5.4 mile loop hike begins at the Paradise Visitors Center in Mount Rainier National Park. You just follow the skyline trail that begins from the steps with the John Muir quote on them. The hike goes up 1700 feet to its highest point at 7100 feet. From this high up you have some amazing views of Mt. Rainier and the surrounding land. The view from Panorama point is well worth the effort it takes to reach it. The top is a great place to just relax for awhile, have a snack, and enjoy the view. There is a bathroom up at Panorama Point should you need it.

The hike to and from Panorama Point is beautiful. If it's the right time of year (August), there will be fields of wildflowers that you'll walk through. Keep your eyes open for wildlife, such as deer and marmot.

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Features

Photography
Hiking
Bathrooms
Family Friendly
Scenic
Wildflowers
Wildlife

Reviews

We took out three boys (ages 15, 12 & 10) on this hike and they loved it. It was early July and there was still a lot of snowy hills for them to "sled" down. We are not experienced hikers AT ALL (I made the trek in a pair of Nike Frees) but we did fine. The views from the top were gorgeous and well worth it. Even got to see a few little critters along the way. Be sure to bring a garbage bag with you, it makes sliding down those little snow trails much easier. Only giving it 4 stars because the trail wasn't well marked. We had no idea if we were going the right way most of the time, but luckily there were a lot of friendly people along the way.

This hike was the first I did in Washington State in summer 2013. It must have been a great snow year that year cause there weren't nearly the amount of wild flowers, as much as there was still a TON of snow! It was a beautiful hike. And once you get to Panorama Point, no matter how much effort you've exerted, the views, the cool mountain air, the quiet, and serenity make it worth the whole thing. Incredible and inspiring adventure. This may have been the hike that kicked off my love of hiking and is inspiring me to be more of a backpacker (that and the movie "Wild"). The mountaineers descending from having summited Mt Rainier coming down with all of their equipment, greeting us as they passed, seeing marmots chillin by the trail, and talking with other hikers and tourists helping each other out and enjoying many different conversations makes this a very unique and fun hike. If you're in Washington and are in the mood for incredible...this is your hike!

Such great views on an accessible and relatively easy trail. My biggest problem was all the stops I made to take pictures along the way! I'd suggest doing the full Skyline Loop, rather than shortening the route with the Golden Gate Trail. Doing so will take you past more wildflowers as well as Myrtle Falls.

Gorgeous hike. The first half mile damn near killed me. I don't know if it was the incline or if I didn't think the pavement would ever end and it would never feel like an adventure. Once you get past that section it's a bit surreal. Definitely go during wildflower season. I went earlier but lucked out that they were already in full bloom that year. The views are tough to beat, the weather is excellent, the photo ops are endless. I recommend staying out until sunset.

This beautiful hike convinced my daughter she wanted to climb to the summit. Love this mountain.

This loop is easy enough to do in a few short hours. It provides a lot of diversity in flora and fauna. We went the "opposite way" aka counter clockwise. There were a lot of folks visiting that day so we opted to get away from the crowds in the beginning. Great opportunity to see wildlife as well. We saw marmots, deer, and a few black bears. Rainer received minimal rain so the snow had melted considerably. That allowed us to get to panorama point easier. You might even see backcountry groups heading up to some of the base camps.

This is a hike I have done several times and the views are always spectacular, Panorama Point gets it's name for a reason. August is a great month for this hike the Washington weather is typically the best and the wildflowers are in full bloom. Have your camera ready at all times to capture the beauty of the meadows and Rainier itself. Don't be discouraged by clouds, but if you see some moving up with you, try to stay ahead of them I have seemingly raced clouds to the top to capture the last few glimpses of the peak before it is covered by clouds. Definitely pack a lunch and take a load off up at the point before heading back down to the car.

Leave No Trace

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

Nearby

Snowshoe the Skyline Trail

Backpack the Wonderland Trail

Climb Mt. Rainier via Disappointment Cleaver

Snowshoe or Ski to Mazama Ridge

Snowshoe to Panorama Point Mount Rainier National Park

Hike to Camp Muir