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Ask Me: What Are Your Favorite Hikes at Mount Rainier and North Cascades National Parks?

Posted On August 30, 2016 at 4:09 am by / Comments Off on Ask Me: What Are Your Favorite Hikes at Mount Rainier and North Cascades National Parks?


I just discovered your site, really enjoying it. Great book, I bought it from a small bookshop in Lincoln, N.H., called the Mountain Wanderer. We are on are way out to the Pacific NW for a week. We are looking for some ideas on dayhikes and one-night backpacks in the North Cascades and some dayhikes in Mount Rainier National Park.

Look forward to your stories in Backpacker. Thanks in advance for your help.

Fred and Linda
Tewksbury, MA

[Via Facebook message at]

Hi Fred and Linda,

First of all, thanks for buying and reading my book. I know The Mountain Wanderer bookstore and its owner. I also know the Whites very well (as I wrote about in this post).

In Mount Rainier National Park, my favorite dayhikes are:

•    The Skyline Trail loop above Paradise.
•    The Rampart Ridge Trail from Christina Falls (between Longmire and Paradise) to Van Trump Park and Mildred Point and back.
•    The steep, little-traveled, but really cool Eagle Peak Trail from Longmire up to Eagle Peak at the west end of the Tatoosh Range.
•    The short, easy walk among the big trees at Grove of the Patriarchs (southeast corner of the park).
•    From Sunrise, hike the Wonderland Trail out to the wildflower meadows above Berkeley Park, then backtrack and loop over Burroughs Mountain and back to Sunrise via the Glacier Basin Trail.
•    If you have time, drive to Mowich Lake and dayhike out and back to Spray Park.

It’s probably too late for wildflowers, which you’d see in abundance on all of these hikes in late July and August, but they all have killer views.

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Skyline Trail, Paradise, at Mount Rainier N.P.
A marmot above Paradise at Mount Rainier.
Skyline Trail, Paradise, at Mount Rainier N.P.
Near the Skyline Trail, Paradise, at Mount Rainier N.P.
Above Paradise at Mount Rainier N.P.
Eagle Peak Trail, Mount Rainier N.P.
Grove of the Patriarchs, Mount Rainier N.P.
Skyline Trail, Paradise, at Mount Rainier N.P.
Spray Park, Mount Rainier N.P.
Spray Park, Mount Rainier N.P.
Wonderland Trail above Berkeley Park, Mount Rainier N.P.
Wonderland Trail above Berkeley Park, Mount Rainier N.P.


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The North Cascades is one of my favorite mountain ranges. In case you haven’t seen this post, check it out for some dayhiking ideas.

Maple Pass Loop, North Cascades N.P.

Maple Pass Loop, North Cascades N.P.

For an overnight hike, consider spending a night on the Heather-Maple Pass loop if the weather’s good (it’s exposed up there). Or stay in the backcountry camp just below Hannegan Pass and hike up Hannegan Peak and partway out Copper Ridge and back.

See menus of all of my stories about Mount Rainier National Park and about the North Cascades.

Enjoy, let me know how it goes.


In Ask Me, I share my response to a reader question. Got a question about hiking, backpacking, gear, or any topic or trip I write about at The Big Outside? Send it to me at, message me at, or tweet it to @MichaelALanza. I will answer the ones I can in a blog post, using only your first name and city, with your permission. I now receive more questions than I can answer, so I ask that readers sending me a question be willing to make a $25 donation to this website through my Support button (above or in left sidebar). I will also provide a telephone consult for $45. Write to me first and I will tell you whether I can answer your question (I usually can); I will respond as quickly as I can. First scroll through my Ask Me page and All Trips pagesskills stories, and gear reviews for answers to your questions before writing to me.


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