Backpack - Grand Park (Mount Rainier)


Backpack - Grand Park (Mount Rainier)

Grand tour of Grand Park with camp at the Berkeley Park group site. *Fully Vaccinated Only*

  • Moderate
  • Moderate
  • Mileage: 12.6 mi
  • Elevation Gain: 2,170 ft
  • High Point Elevation: 5,760 ft
  • Pace: 1.5 - 2.0 mph

Carpooling is optional but encouraged, and will be arranged among the participants.   Individual cars will tentatively meet at 800am in Enumclaw at the US Forest Service Ranger Station.   We'll caravan from there.

We will start at the “Lake Eleanor back door” entrance to Rainier NP, hike the entire length of beautiful Grand Park, and spend the night at the Berkeley Park group site.  It’s hard to predict when the peak bloom in Grand Park will happen, but with luck we will be there while the wildflowers are out.

Though Grand Park itself is flat there is some gain before and after, so this route is moderate not easy.  We will be there to enjoy the views and the experience, so will target an easy-to-moderate pace of around 1.5 - 2.0 mph with overnight packs.  Day 1: 5.4 miles, 1470' gain, 700' loss.   Day 2: 5.4 miles,  700' gain, 1470' loss.

This trip is pretty straightforward, but there are a few things be aware of:

  • This trip is in bear country. Please bring one or two extra stuff sacks for hanging your food and other bear-favorites (sunscreen, etc.) to hang from the bear poles provided by the Park Service.
  • There will likely be bugs.  Wildflowers bloom in early season and so do the bugs - it’s the price we pay for camping where the flowers are. Be sure to bring bug repellent and consider bringing a head net to keep the bugs away while in camp.  Hopefully we will not need them, but best to be prepared.
  • The road to the trailhead is not part of Rainier NP and may be rough.  A high clearance vehicle is recommended.

Also, this is early season for Berkeley Park Camp.  Even though satellite images show that the camp itself is already melted out (as of June 25) there may still be sections of snow along the trail, and it's possible the Park Service may not have full opened the camp yet.  Therefore:

  • Microspikes may be required if there is still snow along the trail.
  • Bear cannisters may be required if the Park Service as not set up the camp's bear pole.

We'll should know the answer to both of these unknowns a week or so before the trip.

COVID Considerations

This trip is open to fully vaccinated participants only.  If you have not been on a trip with the leader yet this season, please send an electronic  image of your vaccination card with everything blocked out except your name and the date of your second dose.


Grand Park (Mount Rainier)

  • USGS Mt Rainier East

    Trails Illustrated Mount Rainier National Park

    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