Hike to Tolmie Peak's Fire Lookout

Tolmie Peak Trail

Wide open views of Mount Rainier. Hang out at a fire lookout. Hike by two alpine lakes. Easy day trip.

Mount Rainier is spectacular to look at, but sometimes the best views aren't from on its slopes, but just a little ways away. Tucked in the seldom-visited northwest corner of Mount Rainier National Park, the Tolmie Peak fire lookout frames the mountain's rugged slopes with a pristine alpine lake and rocky peaks.

Start from the west side of deep-blue Mowich Lake, the largest in the park, and hike 1.5 miles to Ipsut Pass. Poke your head around for a view of the valley, but head left at the trail junction toward Eunice Lake.

You'll lose some elevation before heading up some easy switchbacks, and before you know it you're at the shore of Eunice Lake. If you look up, straight up, you'll see your final destination!

If it's warm enough, this is a great place to take a dip. Or, if it's huckleberry season, grab some handfuls to munch on as you tackle the last bit of the hike. It's short, but steep, so rip the Band-Aid off and get those views!

The lookout isn't open to the public, but still climb up and take a look inside. If you need it, there's a wilderness toilet a little ways down the north side of Tolmie Peak below the lookout.

If you're feeling adventurous, scramble out the narrow ridge to Tolmie's true summit. Be on the lookout for mountain goats, marmots, and pikas in the valleys below.

Pack List

  • 10 Essentials
  • Snacks
  • Swimsuit
  • Camera
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RT Distance 7.5 Miles
Elevation Gain 1100 Feet
Activities Photography, Swimming, Hiking
Skill Level Intermediate
Season Summer, Autumn
Trail Type Out-and-Back
Features
Easy Parking
Forest
Lake
Scenic
Wildflowers
Wildlife
Swimming Hole

Reviews

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Overall rating: 

Great hike! Lot's of fog

The trail was great very easy, no large rocks to climb or anything, you go down in elevation before you go up. I also believe the length given is incorrect, felt more like 5.2 round trip. Take a peak at the spectacular rock walls as you walk along the wonderland trail. Once you get to the lake you are almost there. You can see the lookout tower from this point. You will walk around the lake and then do one big switch back to the top. If you keep going past the lookout you will see the peak. The trail to the peak is slightly sketchy but totally worth it. The view was still beautiful though it was covered by a blanket of fog once we got there. So not much to see at the peak. Remember to check weather before you go! If there are lots of low clouds you might want to wait to take the climb to the top till they clear.

Great hike but info given is incorrect

Fabulous hike but this is not 7.5miles RT. it is 5.6 miles RT. Great quick hike with amazing views

So Close!

You feel so close to Mt. Rainier on this hike, and the Bear Grass explodes in mid July for a very diverse trail. Make sure to walk along the ridge line past the lookout tower for even more views. On a clear day you'll see Mt. Baker as well as Mt. St. Helens in the distance.


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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