Northern Loop (Mount Rainier)


Backpack - Northern Loop (Mount Rainier)

Four days, three nights on a spectacularly rugged and wild loop through the northern hinterlands of Mount Rainier National Park.

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
  • Challenging
  • Mileage: 37.0 mi
  • Elevation Gain: 9,000 ft

9:00 AM at Mt Rainier NP Sunrise

Traverse parkland meadows, alpine tundra, old-growth forest, glacial moraine, high passes, and low valleys.  Witness raging creeks, placid lakes, massive glaciers, and unsurpassed natural beauty.  Experience much of it without the crowds that usually populate the Wonderland Trail.

Cumulative elevation gain makes this loop arduous.  Mosquitoes can be fearsome at Lake James.

Join us on a 4-day journey.  Our itinerary will be as follows:

Day 1:  Leave Sunrise TH.  Camp at Mystic Camp

Day 2:  Camp at Yellowstone Cliffs Camp

Day 3:  Camp at Fire Creek Camp

Day 4:  Hike out to Sunrise TH

Depending on trail conditions and party fitness, side trips are possible.


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 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
  • Foot traction for snow
  • Hiking Poles or Ice Axe
Trip Reports