Trip Report    

Day Hike - Eunice Lake & Tolmie Peak Lookout

A fantastic day for a really scenic hike. Lots of bangs for the buck including two alpine lakes, an old fire lookout with fantastic views of Mount Rainier, wildflowers and even a small black bear sighting!

  • Road suitable for all vehicles
  • The trail is in excellent shape, very easy to follow and well marked. 1.5 miles each way are on the Wonderland Trail and the Tolmie Peak trail is also very smooth with only a few roots to step up/down in a few sections. Nicely cut switchbacks take you from Lake Eunice shores to the ridge where the lookout is located.

We had a diverse group of 5 hikers and two leaders.  4 of us carpooled from Seattle and the others met us at the trailhead.  We started hiking around 9:30 under blue skies and cool morning temperatures. The first part of the hike follows the Wonderland trail first on flat ground bordering the shores of crystalline green Mowitch lake, then gradually ascending towards Ipsut Pass. The junction to Lake Eunice and Tolmie Peak trail is very well marked and it is  just 200 ft before Ipsut Pass. 

After the fork the trail follows a brief descending traverse before ascending more steeply still in the forest through a series of  switchbacks to the basin where Eunice Lakes lies. This is a magnificient place with meadows and wildflowers on the lake's southern shore and steep lava cliffs  on the North side. The lookout towers above the cliffs and from here is seems impossible to reach, but a couple of well-cut switchbacks  allows you to gain the ridge and follow it to the lookout in a less than 1 mile.


Right before our final ascent in the meadows near the lake we saw a juvenile black bear munching on grass and flowers.  He barely noticed us and continued his important business of feeding himself.


Once at the lookout, we took a nice long break to check out the lookout (it is locked but it is possible to go up the stairs and circles it around the wrap around porch and we ate  lunch. Part of the group wanted to go tag the real summit a short distance away so Alina led them there following a well defined but exposed path that everyone in her group felt comfortable taking. I stayed behind at the lookout with one of the participants who was not up to it and we enjoyed an extended break while fighting off pesky and very insistent chipmunks and camp-robbers who really wanted to climb on our laps and inside our packs.



Once the others returned we headed back all together and reached the cars at 3 pm.  Total time (including all stops and lunch) 5:13 min at a very leisurely pace with plenty of breaks.

Fun group and a gorgeous day on one of the most scenic trails I have been!