Hike to Naches Peak Loop Mount Rainier

Naches Peak Loop Trail Mount Rainier National Park

Seattle Washington is famous for grey skies and drizzling rain all year around. But is it so? Nah! Visit to Naches Peak Loop will make you rethink again about that. Summer Blue Skies in Pacific North West are the best time to enjoy the hiking, backpacking and camping adventures with family.  Summer and early Falls is the perfect time to see natural colors of wildflowers and alpine vegetation.

Naches Peak Loop trail is popular among visitors and hikers for wild flower bloom in July, August till Late summers.  The eye-catching carpet of purple lupines, white purple chamomiles, huckleberries and other colorful flowers among green vegetation is breath taking.  Naches Peak Loop trail stands out among other trails at Mount Rainier because of the scenic vistas with epic view of snow capped Mount Rainier, meadows, streams and sub alpines lakes.

View of Mount Rainier from Naches Peak Loop Trail
View of Mount Rainier from Naches Peak Loop Trail
Colorful Wildflowers on Naches Peak loop trail
Colorful Wildflowers on Naches Peak loop trail

Where is Naches Peak Loop Trail Head?

To reach Naches Peak Loop trail head, you need to drive to Tipsoo Lake near Chinook Pass on Mather Memorial Parkway that’s on eastern boundary of Mount Rainier National Park. Tipsoo lake is famous attraction at Mount Rainier that is most photographed landscapes in Washington all year around.

May it be fully covered with white snow in Winter or booming with greenery in Summer or popping with colors in Falls, it is Photographer’s Paradise. Visitors spend most of the time taking pictures around crystal clear water of Tipsoo lake enjoying the scenic beauty.

Tipsoo Lake Covered with Snow in Winter Mount Rainier National Park
Tipsoo Lake Covered with Snow in Winter
Crystal Clear Water of Tipsoo Lake - Captured in Winter
Crystal Clear Water of Tipsoo Lake – Captured in Spring
Tipsoo Lake in Falls after the summer Mount Rainier National Park
Tipsoo Lake in Falls after the Summer
Tipsoo Lake in Winter Mount Rainier National Park
Tipsoo Lake covered with Snow in Winter

For hiking Naches Peak loop trail, you can park at Tipsoo lake picnic area parking lot.  As the trail is a loop you need to decide whether you want to do it clockwise or anticlockwise.

Last year during Falls, We hiked the Naches Peak Loop trail for first time from Tipsoo Lake in anti clock wise direction. So we know we had view of Mount Rainier on our shoulders every time. Below two photos from last year memories.

Naches Peak Loop Trail Map starting from Tipsoo Lake
View of Mount Rainier on shoulder when Naches Peak Loop Trail started in Anticlockwise direction

 It is recommended to hike the trail in clockwise direction to get the best views of Mount Rainier along the trail for most of the time. So this time we were careful to start the trail in clockwise direction. From Tipsoo Lake, Follow the uphill trail towards Chinook Pass and cross a wooden bridge over SR 410 and continue on the Pacific Crest trail.

In summer it is hard to find parking spot at famous attractions in Mount Rainier unless you arrive early or wait some time to find one.  Second option is to drive on SR 410 ahead to Chinook Pass and park at Sheep Lake and Sourdough Gap Trail head parking lot and walk over a quarter mile back to wooden bridge entrance of Mount Rainier.

Mount Rainier National Park Entrance at Chinook Pass
Mount Rainier National Park Entrance at Chinook Pass
Walking over the wooden Bridge- Entrance to Mount Rainier National Park

Hike to Naches Peak Loop

The trail starts by crossing the wooden bridge and you will notice sign board for Pacific Crest Trail. You are on right trail. Pacific Crest Trail takes to the Naches Peak and then intersects with Naches Peak Loop trail.

We hiked this trail in our recent visit to Mount Rainier in month of August. By this time the snow melts away leading the way for wildflowers to grow. The trail starts with easy going tons of scenic views of valley, SR 410 road and wonderful sub alpine greenery.  

Trail Head: Tipsoo Lake Picnic Area or Chinook Pass or Sheep Lake and Sourdough Gap Trail head
Trail Feature: Wildflowers, Alpine Meadows, Lakes, Views of Mount Rainier
Elevation gain: 660 feet
Difficulty Level: Easy
Distance Round trip: 3.5 miles
Best time to go: July – Early November( Peak Falls)

View of SR 410 from Pacific Crest Trail
Wildflowers at Pacific Crest trail at Chinook Pass Mount Rainier
Sub Alpine Vegetation/Wildflowers resembling to hair needing haircuts
Purple Wildflowers bloomed Pacific crest trail Chinook Pass
Purple Wildflowers bloomed
Hike to Naches Peak Loop Mount Rainier National Park Washington
Yellow Wildflowers bloomed on Naches Peak Loop Trail

Going little uphill, you get to see the views of wildflowers bloomed. In no time you reach the lake that has no name but the view across the lake is pretty.  This spot is famous among visitors looking for short walk to scenic and photogenic sub alpine lake.  For families with small children or older grand parents, this is popular point to take a break, enjoy the beauty and then turn around back to trail head.

View of beautiful alpine unnamed lake at Naches Peak
Me Enjoying the beautiful view of Lake
Me Enjoying the beautiful view of Lake

Visitors love to take a dip in to lake water on sunny days. Moving ahead on the trail, you gain some elevation and you reach famous lookout point for Lake Dewey with mountain ranges in background.  This is beautiful point to enjoy a short break to have a snack while viewing the blue waters of the Dewey lake.  

Turned back to capture the Beautiful View of unnamed Lake through Colorful Wildflowers at Naches Peak Loop trail
Hike to Naches Peak Loop Trail Mount Rainier
Purple Lupines and other wild flowers at Naches Peak Loop Trail
View of Dewey Lake from Lookout point on Naches Peak Loop Trail
View of Dewey Lake from Lookout point on Naches Peak Loop Trail

After Dewey lake view point, The Pacific Crest Trail splits in to two trails. One trail goes down to Dewey Lake and the second trail up towards Naches peak loop.  If you are looking for more adventure, you can take Dewey Lake trail.

We continued on Naches Peak loop trail. The trail crosses some rocky sections and you are on elevated ground.  The dazzling view of snowcapped Mount Rainier comes in to sight and continues to remain in sight for rest of the trail until you reach trail head. 

Proceeding on the trail, there is one more lake that is unnamed but is famous for photographers to capture the reflection of Mount Rainier into lake waters. By the time we reached there the clouds were covering up the beauty – Mount Rainier.

Hike to Naches Peak Loop trail in Summer
Unnamed lake famous for Reflection of Mount Rainier in Lake waters. Clouds covering up Mount Rainier
Naches Peak Loop Trail Mount Rainier
Visitors/Hikers enjoying the dazzling view of Mount Rainier from Naches Peak Loop Trail

On Sunny day with clear skies, this view is blessing to the hikers and visitors. Sometimes Mount Rainier Lovers like me have to wait for hours to get this view. If you don’t get the view of Mount Rainier then this trail won’t disappoint you. Bloomed colorful Wildflowers, sub alpine lakes and green valley make the place vibrant with scenic views. We were feeling like having a walk in to the kingdom of flowers.

Purple Lupines at Naches Peak Loop Mount Rainier National Park
Hike to Naches Peak Loop Trail Mount Rainier

 Remember to bring some sandwiches or snacks to sit and enjoy the mesmerizing view of Mount Rainier. Naches Peak Loop is perfect for day trip to Mount Rainier for an easy hike with stunning scenery that can be done with family with young children.

Mount Rainier National Park is one of my favorites park that I love visiting number of times. The Park has got thousand of trails that features various hiking trail options of Waterfalls, Fire Lookout Towers, wildflowers alpine meadows, wooden log bridges, rivers, valleys, stunning scenic vistas with panoramic views of snow cloaked Mount Rainier and surrounding glaciers.

There are many famous attractions to see in Mount Rainier National Park during first visit. If you are planning for day trip to the Park, then do read on “Must Visit Places at Mount Rainier National Park”

View of Mount Rainier from Naches Peak Loop Trail on clear sky day.
View of Mount Rainier from Naches Peak Loop Trail on clear sky day.

Entry to Mount Rainier National Park is not free except few days in a year. Do check the site for Free Entrance days in the National Park . If you are a National Park lover like me, then I would suggest getting the Interagency Annual pass “America the Beautiful” that lets you visit multiple destinations across the country for unlimited visits.

Have you been to Naches Peak Loop in Summer season or in Falls? Feel free to comment below to tell your experience hiking the trail.

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Hike to Naches Peak Loop Mount Rainier National Park

16 thoughts on “Hike to Naches Peak Loop Mount Rainier

  1. OMG – your photos are amazing, putting this on my bucket list. Sort of left Mount Rainier off because of the level of difficulty, but you’ve shown me that I can do this Naches Peak Loop, and enjoy amazing views, while hiking 3.5 miles!

  2. The flowers are so beautiful and so are the lakes– in summer and winter. Would like to go for a dip on sunny days and will definitely take sandwhiches and snacks for an hike at all. 😀

  3. These wild flowers are absolutely beautiful! I used to love to hike when I lived in California:) If I ever get the chance to come to this park, I am gonna do one of the hikes that has waterfalls!

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