Crystal Lakes (Mount Rainier)


Backpack - Crystal Lakes (Mount Rainier)

Beginner (mentored) backpack trip from forest to meadows to lakes with views of Mt Rainier along the way. Optional day hike over Sourdough Gap to Sheep Lake and back.

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  • Moderate
  • Moderate
  • Mileage: 10.0 mi
  • Elevation Gain: 3,100 ft
  • High Point Elevation: 5,830 ft
  • Pace: moderate

Meet at 8 AM at the Enumclaw Ranger Station, 450 Roosevelt Ave (SR 410), Enumclaw

Cars can be left at the Enumclaw Ranger Station, without the requirement there of a parking pass, to facilitate carpooling.  There are restroom facilities at the Ranger Station 


This is a mentored backpack trip for Linda Shewey with Kim Frasher as co-leader.

From the Enumclaw Ranger station we will carpool to the Crystal Lakes trailhead on 410 and backpack 3 miles to Crystal Lakes where we will set up camp.  There is a $20 camp fee per site (up to 5 tents) that was prepaid by the leaders to be divided among participants.

The trail begins in the forest, then switchbacks up, breaking out from the trees for beautiful views of Mount Rainier and wildflower-filled meadows.  We will pass the lower lake and head on up to the upper lake, set in a beautiful basin surrounded by rugged peaks.  The camp site has a bear pole for hanging food. 

After setting up camp, there will be the option to hike an additional 1.3 miles to Sourdough Gap (600 ft gain) and then another 1.4 miles (600 ft loss) to Sheep Lake (great for swim) and back to camp.

In the morning, we can have a leisurely breakfast, break camp and hike back to the trailhead and head back home, with option to stop for Huckleberry shakes/lunch in Greenwater.


Crystal Lakes (Mount Rainier)

  • Trails Illustrated Mount Rainier National Park

    Green Trails Mt Rainier East No. 270

    Green Trails Mount Rainier Wonderland No. 269SX
  • See full route/place details.
Required Equipment

Required Equipment

The Ten Essentials plus overnight gear which may include:

  • Tent with footprint/ground tarp
  • Stove and fuel
  • Sleeping bag
  • Sleeping pad
  • Water filter
  • Bear canister or extra stuff sack and cord designated for hanging food
  • Cooking pot/pan with plate and utensils
  • Toilet paper and shovel or blue bag to deal with waste
Trip Reports