Crystal Peak (Mount Rainier)


Day Hike - Crystal Peak (Mount Rainier)

This early-week hike is a conifer-lovers dream because of the 18 Washington State conifers, 14 can be found on this hike. We will stop to identify the ones we find.

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  • Strenuous
  • Moderate
  • Mileage: 8.0 mi
  • Elevation Gain: 3,100 ft

Crystal Peak trailhead, Mount Rainier National Park,  1/2 mile north of the White River Road.   Meet at 9 AM.   Driving time from Green Lake area of Seattle is 1:45 hours.

No Mount Rainier Admission Fee/Pass required.

May try to arrange a meeting at a Park-n-Ride at 7 AM.

Crystal Peak

Help me identify the conifers on this trip.  It will be a group effort.

This hike is not that difficult and we will be stopping a fair number of times.

There are 18 conifer species found in Washington State, and this hike has 15 of them.

Most can be found at the 4600' trail junction (a yew tree—actually a bush—can be found 70 yards up the Crystal Lakes Trail from the junction).

The only Washington conifer species not on this hike are western larch, mountain larch, and Sitka spruce. (Full disclosure: The only lodgepole pine we found was actually on the trail to Lower Crystal Lakes.)

4600': Yew (see above), Engelmann spruce, red cedar, western hemlock, silver fir, Douglas fir, western white pine, subalpine fir 4730', just past scree field: Alaska cedar

5190': Noble fir and a lot of mountain hemlock in the area

5200': Ponderosa pine, grand fir (a grand fir was also noted at 4350')

At summit: Whitebark pine


Crystal Peak (Mount Rainier)

Required Equipment

Required Equipment

The Ten Essentials recommended, but no one will be checking.

Binoculars would be helpful.

Trip Reports