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Hike to Camp Muir, Mt. Rainier

Ashford, Washington

Details

Distance

8.4 miles

Elevation Gain

4600 ft

Route Type

Out-and-Back

Description

Added by Travis Poulson

Climbing halfway up the prodigious, colossal, staggering Mount Rainier is no simple task, but it’s a day you’ll never forget or regret.

“Of all the fire-mountains which, like beacons, once blazed along the Pacific Coast, Mount Rainier is the noblest.” John Muir. 

Hiking to John Muir’s namesake camp will test you, and depending on weather, defeat you. Weather is key. Only hike when conditions are right.

The ascent begins at the aptly named Paradise parking lot by the Henry M. Jackson Visitor Center in Mount Rainier National Park. Take the well-marked Skyline Trail to Panarama Point, then continue on the Pebble Creek/Camp Muir Trail. The route is 8.4 miles round-trip with an elevation gain of 4,600 feet.

Depending on  the time of year, you may be hiking in snow the entire way, or much of the way, so bring appropriate footwear. Crampons are optimal, but micro-spikes/yaktraxs will also do the trick. Trekking poles are a must!

As you hike, be sure to take adequate breaks with food and water. If the sun is shining, it comes at you from all angles reflecting off the snow, so protect yourself. I severely sunburned my nostrils.

Muir Camp is basecamp for those wishing to summit. There you will find bathrooms (but no TP), a ranger station and backpacker tents squished together in a wind-protected gully on the glacier. Enjoy the overwhelming views. On a clear day, you can see Mount Jefferson to the south 150 miles away.

Going down is pure joy. Bring a sturdy garbage bag and you may be able slide down over a thousand feet of the descent. Your knees will thank you for that.

The adventure will take 5 to 9 hours.

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Features

Fitness
Chillin
Camping
Photography
Running
Backpacking
Hiking
Bathrooms
Easy Parking
Forest
River
Scenic
Waterfall
Wildflowers
Wildlife

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Leave No Trace

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

Nearby

Skyline Loop in Mt. Rainier NP

Snowshoe the Skyline Trail

Hike to Panorama Point

Winter Camp at Glacier Vista

Snowshoe or Ski to Mazama Ridge

Hike to Camp Muir