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Hike to Tolmie Peak's Fire Lookout

Ashford, Washington

4.3/5
based on 4 reviews

Details

Distance

5.74 miles

Elevation Gain

1250 ft

Route Type

Out-and-Back

Description

Added by Mitch Pittman

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.

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Features

Photography
Hiking
Easy Parking
Forest
Lake
Scenic
Wildflowers
Wildlife
Swimming Hole

Reviews

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.

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

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.

Although it's not as wild and wilderness as I had hoped it was still an incredible hike. It's a clear and well maintained trail that offers up some amazing views. I would get a start early because parking fills up quick and although there isn't a crowd going up it does get crowded once you get to the look out. So very worth the trip and you meet the nicest people along the way.

Leave No Trace

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

Nearby

Hike around Mowich Lake

Hike to Eunice Lake in Mt. Rainier NP

Hike to Spray Park

Hike to Rainier NP's Ranger Falls

Hike Bearhead Mountain

Hike to Summit Lake