Backpack - Northern Loop


Backpack - Northern Loop

Do you want to test your multi-day backpacking skills? Join me for 4 days and 3 nights traveling counterclockwise on the Mount Rainier Northern Loop.

  • Moderate/Strenuous
  • Challenging
  • Mileage: 41.0 mi
  • Elevation Gain: 12,000 ft
  • Pace: 1.5-2.0 mph

Be ready for boots on the trail by 9:00 am on Thursday, July 20th.  We'll have 4 full days of enjoying the early summer weather and wildflowers at Mount Rainier National Park. We should wrap up by lunch on Sunday, July 23rd, but please do not make plans for that evening. We have plenty of options for side trips to get the most out of our visit!

We will start and end at Sunrise Trailhead for a total of 32 miles and 12,000 ft of elevation gain. Before signing up for this backpack, please be prepared for the elevation gain, carrying 4 days of food and bugs! The mileage and gain may vary since we have several side trip options.  I generally keep a meandering pace (for me, this is around 2.0 mph) with slower travel on the uphill and regular stops to enjoy the view. Weather can also still be variable this time of year with warm days, cold nights, and occasionally some remaining snow in the passes. Below is a quick overview of what to expect on each day:

Day 1: 11.2 mi - 2642 ascent, 4531 descent (possible Grand Park side trip)

Day 2: 7.3 mi - 2388 ascent, 3661 descent

Day 3: 8.3 mi - 4514 ascent, 1994 descent

Day 4: 4.9 mi - 1568 ascent, 981 descent (possibile Skyscraper Mountain or Burroughs side trip)

This backpack will be by permission only. When emailing for permission, please include what backpacks you have done recently or plan to do before the trip, other outdoor activities you are participating in, and your goal for this trip.

More details will be sent closer to the trip and may be subject to change.


Northern Loop (Mount Rainier)

  • Green Trails Mount Rainier Wonderland No. 269SX

    Trails Illustrated Mount Rainier National Park

    Green Trails Mt Rainier East No. 270

    Green Trails Mt Rainier West No. 269
  • See full route/place details.
Required Equipment

Required Equipment

The Ten Essentials plus overnight gear which may include:

  • Tent 
  • Cook system (stove, fuel, pot, utensils)
  • Sleep system (Sleeping bag, Sleeping pad)
  • Water filter
  • Bear canister or extra stuff sack and cord designated for hanging food
  • Toilet paper and shovel
  • Bug repellent, head  net
  • Sun protection (Sunscreen, Hat, Sunshirt, Sunglasses)
Trip Reports