Northern Loop (Mount Rainier)


Backpack - Northern Loop (Mount Rainier)

Northern Loop Mt. Rainier NP

COVID-19: Learn about our most up-to-date guidance for participants and leaders on our COVID-19 Response page. All participants and leaders must agree to the COVID-19 Code of Conduct before participating in this Mountaineers activity.
  • Strenuous
  • Mileage: 37.0 mi
  • Elevation Gain: 9,000 ft
8:00 AM at Charlie's in Enumclaw
We will meet at Charlie's restaurant in Enumclaw. (I intend to have breakfast there.) We will leave in time to be up at the White River entrance to MRNP before 10:00 AM in order to pick up our permit. Sunrise will be our trail head. The first night is at the Mystic Lake Camp. Second night is at the Yellowstone Cliffs camp. The third night will be spent in the Grand Park backcountry zone. Staying in Grand Park means we will have to follow extra rules and pack out our solid waste. Also, Grand Park doesn't have a water source so we will have to carry in our water. The total distance is a little over 30 miles, plus an optional mile excursion to the Natural Bridge. The elevation gain and loss and regain is relentless. I would classify this as very strenuous. The second day from Mystic to Yellowstone is especially hard. We will try to mitigate that as best we can with a moderate pace. We will pass through the most scenic areas (past Mystic Lake, Windy Gap, Grand Park and Berkley Park) in the morning when we are fresh. While we will have plenty of room in Grand Park, the sites at Mystic Lake and Yellowstone Cliffs won't have a lot of extra room for 5 tents. We will need to be flexible. The wildflowers may have already bloomed by the time we take the trip, but you never know about the weather and you take your permit when you can get it. Berkley Park always has wild flowers. If you'd still like to go, send me a note with some background. (No resume is needed.) I just want to make sure I've properly communicated what to expect on the trip. Camping in the middle of Grand Park can be absolutely amazing but it can also rain.

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
Trip Reports