SUMMER ROAD TRIP, DAY 49:
The Best Hike in Mount Rainier
That’s it, the final vote is in and we decided our utmost favorite hike in Mount Rainier National Park is the Tolmie Peak Trail. Why you ask? Because the views at the top left us fantastically flabbergasted! Hands down, the best view of Mount Rainier. Our car took a bit of a hit on the way in, but it was all worth it.
Tolmie Peak Trail at Mowich Lake
The Tolmie Peak Trail is located on the west side of Mount Rainier National Park near Mowich Lake. The 17-mile gravel road to the trailhead is a dusty and rough ride, but we pretended we were off-roading.
The trail is approximately 6-miles roundtrip, out and back, with an 1,100 foot elevation gain. It took us a little over three hours with picture stops and a lunch break at the fire tower. The trail begins relatively flat at Mowich Lake where it wanders through a wooded forest before slowly climbing to the stunning Eunice Lake. It’s here we saw the first glimpse of our final destination, the fire lookout tower. We then meandered through meadows of wildflowers and bear grass ascending to the gentle switchbacks that lead to one of the one of most commanding views of Mount Rainier. We joined a few other hikers and ate our lunch while sitting on the lookout tower in a hypnotized state of wonder.
And so our epic 80 day summer road trip continues – 12 U.S. states, 1 Canadian province and 11 national parks. For the upcoming months, I will be sharing with you our highlights, lowlights, adventures, favorite spots, best tips and our thoughts on three months of road tripping and living in a pop up. I’ll try to answer any and all of your questions too! You can also follow our journey via Facebook, Twitter or Instagram.
Miles Driven: 212
Total Road Trip Miles Driven: 7,378
Average Gas Price per Gallon: $2.69
All States Visited: Wisconsin, Minnesota, South Dakota, Wyoming, Montana, British Columbia & Alberta Provinces
Know Before You Go
- Park entrance fee is required at a fee machine at the beginning of Mowich Lake Road.
- Park either at Mowich Campground or along the road at the trailhead.
- Two bathroom stops are available. Near the fee machine and the campground.
- High clearance vehicle is recommended for the non-paved road leading to the trailhead, but we did see low suspension cars make it safely.
- Pack a lunch or a big snack to eat at the lookout.
- Wear bug spray.
- Plan accordingly, hike takes 2 – 3 hours.
- The trail does not end at the fire tower, you can keep hiking a few hundred yards to the true summit.
- Bring a bathing suit if it is a hot summer day. You may want to jump in Mowich Lake at the end of the hike.
Be Part of the Adventure.
Do you like to hike? What are your favorite types of hikes to take?
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