Tolmie Peak Lookout Sept 24 2017.jpg

Trip Report    

Day Hike - Eunice Lake & Tolmie Peak Lookout

Amazing views of Rainier for such a short hike and elevation gain, mostly in the shade except when you reach the ridgeline. Beautiful crystal clear aquamarine lakes including the largest and deepest lake in the park, Mowich Lake.

  • Road rough but passable
  •  Trail it self was 85 % in the shade and laden with tree roots all along the way.  I recommend trekking poles to ensure footing.  Also, starting at about 5,400 elevation the trail turned slushy and slippery.  Although the snow fell 4 days before and only 6 inches, what snow remained required caution.  I recommend packing micro-spikes and use as conditions require.  No other trail issues to contend with.  Trail is not straight up and straight down.  Trail will dip in and couple sections. Trail is well marked and easy to follow.  On this day, bugs were NOT and issue.

The last 13 miles of the road is gravel and like a washboard to the parking lot, speeds ~ 20 mph.  Very popular area and recommend getting to the lot before 10am.  Mowich campgrounds at the far end of the parking lot and has restrooms and food storage bins.

The group hiking just ahead of us spotted a black bear and we found many bear tracks in the snow near Lake Eunice where wild berries grow.  We spotted grazing black tailed deer. The lakes are crystal clear and an aquamarine color.  Beautiful meadow flowers and Bear Grass flowers when in season but were spent by this time of the year.  However, the star of the show is Mt Rainier on the trail but especially from the Tolmie Peak Lookout.  Our 30 minute lunch spot there was too short. On the day, we could clearly see Mt St Helens to the south and Mt Baker to the north.  Be conscious of micro-climates and varied trail conditions.  Sturdy boots with great treads is a must.  The trail conditions around Mowich Lake was clear and dry but starting at 5,400 elevation, the trail turned slushy and slippery.  I recommend packing micro-spikes and trekking poles and use as conditions merit.

We started from the TH at 10am and finished at the TH by 2:40pm.  Several breaks along the way for photos, water snacks.  Also, time includes a 30 minute lunch break.

 

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