Sourdough Gap

An easy, 7 mile round trip day hike with 1,570 ft in elevation gain beginning at Chinook Pass and passing Sheep Lake near Mount Rainier. This trail connects with the Crystal Lakes trail and the two can be combined for a glorious alpine lake outing with a car shuttle.

Getting There

From Enumclaw drive east on SR-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 at the back 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

Sheep Lake (5,800 ft)

3.6 miles round trip, 400 feet of elevation gain

The trail traverses above SR-410 before climbing gently into the Sheep Lake Basin. Enjoy great views of Mount Rainier and Naches Peak along the way.

Sourdough Gap (6,400 ft)

6.0 miles round trip, 1,000 feet of elevation gain

Hike the Pacific Crest Trail (PCT) for a 1.8 miles until you reach Sheep Lake. Continue passing through forests and meadows for another 1.2 miles to reach the gap and fabulous views of Mount Rainier. Be sure to scramble to northwest side of the gap for the best views. Look southwest to Mount Rainier'a Emmons Glacier. About 0.25 mile north of Sourdough Gap, enjoy views east into the meadows of upper Morse Creek with the blue pool of Placer Lake in the center of the valley.

Chinook Pass to Crystal Lakes

7.0 miles one-way, 1,000 feet of elevation gain

 The PCT at Sourdough Gap connect to the Crystal Lakes Trail. These two trails can be combined for a glorious alpine lake outing with a car shuttle.

  • Suitable Activities: Day Hiking
  • Seasons: July, August, September, October
  • Weather: View weather forecast
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Length: 6.0 mi
  • Elevation Gain: 1,570 ft
  • 6,400 ft
  • Green Trails Mount Rainier Wonderland No. 269SX
  • Green Trails Bumping Lake No. 271
  • Green Trails Mt Rainier East No. 270

Upcoming Activities

Day Hike - Sheep Lake

Day Hiking Trip
**Preference given to 2024 Olympia Conditioning Hiking Series participants** Trip will open for registration to
Difficulty: Easy
Sun, Jun 16, 2024
No Prerequisites
6 participants
Registration opens Jun 1
Olympia Branch
Mike McIntosh

Adventure Activity - Sheep Lake (Chinook Pass)

Youth Youth activity: Mini Mountaineers
Let's get adventurous! Minis backpacking adventure!
Difficulty: Easy
Sat, Jun 22, 2024 - Sun, Jun 23, 2024
No Prerequisites
3 participants on waitlist
Registration closes Jun 20
Tacoma Branch
Megan Hartness
Qualified Youth Leader

Intro to Backpacking Field Trip - Sheep Lake (Chinook Pass)

Backpacking Field trip: Introduction to Backpacking
Preference to Tacoma Introduction to Backpacking students. Trip will open to all Mountaineers to register
Difficulty: Easy
Fri, Jul 12, 2024 - Sun, Jul 14, 2024
No Prerequisites, Leader's Permission Required
6 participants 0 instructors
Registration opens Apr 4; Instructor registration open now
Tacoma Branch
Frank McCracken
Qualified Youth Leader

CHS 1 Hike - Sheep Lake

Day Hiking Field trip: Conditioning Hiking Series
CHS hike led at a CHS 1 pace (1.5-2.0 mph)
Difficulty: Easy
Fri, Jul 19, 2024
No Prerequisites
6 participants 1 instructor
Registration opens Jun 19; Instructor registration open now
Seattle Branch
Steven Payne
Trip Reports

This is a list of titles that represent the variations of trips you can take at this route/place. This includes side trips, extensions and peak combinations. Not seeing a title that fits your trip? Log in and send us updates, images, or resources.

  • Sheep Lake
  • Sheep Lake (Chinook Pass)
  • Chinook Pass to Crystal Lakes
  • Sourdough Gap: Chinook Pass to Crystal Lakes

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