Sheep Lake (Chinook Pass)

A beautiful easy-going stretch of the Pacific Crest Trail that leads to huckleberries and a lovely alpine lake before reaching the saddle known as Sourdough Gap. A perfect day hike or easy backpack for those interested in exploring the area north of Mt Rainier near Chinook Pass.

getting there

From Enumclaw drive east on State Route 410 (Chinook Pass Highway) to Chinook Pass. Just east of Tipsoo Lake, turn left (north) into a small trailhead parking lot on the north side of the highway. The trailhead is found on the backside of the lot, behind the restrooms. If the parking lot is full, return to the Tipsoo Lake parking lot at the pass and hike the 0.25-mile trail around the lake to the lower lot and the Pacific Crest Trail trailhead.

On the trail

The trail traverses above Hwy 410 before climbing gently into the Sheep Lake basin. You'll reach Sheep Lake at the 2.5 mile mark. Great views of Mount Rainier and Naches Peak along the way.


One more mile and another 600 feet elevation gain takes you to Sourdough Gap. Make sure to scramble to northwest side of the gap for the best views. You'll be able to look southwest onto the Emmons Glacier of Mount Rainier.

About 0.25 mile north of Sourdough Gap, you'll find wonderful views east into the meadows of upper Morse Creek, with the blue pool of Placer Lake sitting dead center in the valley.

  • Suitable Activities: Day Hiking
  • Seasons: May, June, July, August, September
  • Weather: View weather forecast
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Length: 5.0
  • Elevation Gain: 400 ft
  • 6,400 ft
  • Trails Illustrated Mount Rainier National Park
  • Green Trails Mt Rainier East No. 270
  • Green Trails Mount Rainier Wonderland No. 269SX

Upcoming Activities

Day Hike - Sheep Lake (Chinook Pass)

Day Hiking Trip
Difficulty: Easy
Sun, Jun 20, 2021
No Prerequisites, Leader's Permission Required
10 participants 1 leader
Registration opens Jun 15
Olympia Branch

GoHike Hiking Trip - 2-4 miles, <500 feet gain - Sheep Lake (Chinook Pass)

Avalanche Safety Field trip: GoHike: Beginner Hiking Series
This hike can apply toward your GoHike Graduation! These will have a gentle pace.
Difficulty: Easy
Thu, Aug 5, 2021
No Prerequisites
7 participants
Registration opens Jul 23
Foothills Branch

Backpack - Sheep Lake (Chinook Pass)

Backpacking Trip
Camp beside a beautiful alpine lake, Sheep Lake, near Mt. Rainier, with an easy optional
Difficulty: Easy
Sat, Aug 14, 2021 - Sun, Aug 15, 2021
No Prerequisites
11 participants
Registration opens Aug 2
Tacoma Branch
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