Explore Tipsoo Lake

Washington Tipsoo Lake Parking Area

Added by Lorene Voskinarian

  • Dramatic views of Mt Rainier
  • Colorful sunsets
  • Easy access

Tipsoo Lake provides a great spot for capturing a sunset at Mount Rainier. There are two lakes at Tipsoo, with Upper Tipsoo Lake providing a better view of the Mountain. To access Upper Tipsoo Lake, drive past the main parking lot for Tipsoo Lake and park at the pullout around the bend on the same side of the road. Cross the road and you will see trails leading around the lake.

If the pullout parking lot is full, you can park in the main lot and follow trails past Tipsoo Lake to the upper parking lot. The main parking lot has vault toilets and a picnic area.

To capture sunset, you should arrive at least an hour before the official sunset time. Due to the elevation of the mountain, the sun will be hidden long before it fully sets. You will need to time to find a spot and setup your equipment. The area around the lake can be boggy, so wearing hiking boots is recommended. Also, be sure to bring a flashlight or headlamp with you so you can safely find your way back to your car in the dark.

Tipsoo Lake also provides a great spot to capture sunrise, as the east facing side of Mount Rainier gets the first rays of the sun.

Tipsoo Lake can be reached without paying the entrance fee to Mount Rainier National Park if you avoid the Longmire/Paradise Entrance. The road to Tipsoo Lake is closed in Winter.

Pack List

  • Camera
  • Tripod
  • Hiking boots/sturdy shoes
  • Headlamp/flashlight
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Skill Level:



Spring, Summer, Autumn



Easy Parking
Family Friendly
Picnic Area

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How to Get There

3 months ago

Tucked away gem

I went on a Friday afternoon in early August and couldn't believe how few people were there. I stuck around for sunset and the numbers dwindled even more. A great little place to get away from the crowds and enjoy the views of Mount Rainier.

3 months ago

4 months ago

Great But Often Snowy

Beautiful lake that is super easy to get to! Go late summer or early fall to make sure the snow has melted!

4 months ago

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