Crystal Peak (Mount Rainier)


Day Hike - Crystal Peak (Mount Rainier)

This Crystal Peak Hike has not only old-growth forest and grand vistas, but also has such a variety of conifers. In fact, it has the most conifer species found on any single hike in our state. There are 18 conifer species found in Washington State, and this hike has 14 of them.

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

Meet Crystal Peak Trail Head at 9 am.  

Approximate driving time from North Seattle is just under 2 hours 

No trail or park pass required.

This hike is not particularly strendous but does gain over 3,000 feet.

Skill level: Hike (with a quarter-mile foot path to the summit)
Beauty: 7 on a scale of 10 (Glorious! Choose a clear day.)
Effort: 4 on a scale of 10
Distance: 7.6 mi.
RT Elevation: 3,100 ft. total gain
Total time: 6 hours

Here are the approximate locations to find the conifers:

  • 4,600 ft.: Engelmann spruce, red cedar, western hemlock, silver fir, Douglas fir, western white pine, subalpine fir, yew (a yew tree— actually a bush—may be found 70 yards up the Crystal Lakes Trail from the junction).
  • 4,730 ft.: Alaska cedar (just past scree field)
  • 5,190 ft.: Noble fir and lots of mountain hemlocks in the area
  • 5,200 ft.: Ponderosa pine, grand fir (a grand fir was also noted at 4,350’), and western white pines.
  • Summit:White bark pine

Crystal Peak (Mount Rainier)

  • Trails Illustrated Mount Rainier National Park

    Green Trails Mt Rainier East No. 270

    Green Trails Mount Rainier Wonderland No. 269SX
  • See full route/place details.
Required Equipment

Required Equipment

The Ten Essentials

  1. Navigation
  2. Sun protection
  3. Insulation (extra clothing)
  4. Illumination
  5. First aid supplies
  6. Fire
  7. Repair kit and tools, including knife
  8. Nutrition (extra food)
  9. Hydration (extra water)
  10. Emergency shelter
Trip Reports