Trails for everyone, forever

Home Go Hiking Hiking Guide Copper Creek Hut Snowshoe

Copper Creek Hut Snowshoe

Mount Rainier Area

Location

Mount Rainier Area -- SW - Longmire/Paradise
View map below

Length

8.8 miles, roundtrip

Elevation

Gain: 1040 ft.
Highest Point: 4200 ft.

Rating

3.75 out of 5

(4 votes) Log in to rate
 
 

Parking Pass/Entry Fee

Sno-Parks Permit
This trail is open for day use but the Mount Tahoma Huts are closed to prevent the spread of COVID-19
 
 

Yes, there really is a hut on the Copper Creek Hut trail and it’s open to the public!

The Mount Tahoma Trails Association, a non-profit organization, operates over fifty miles of cross country ski and snowshoe trails and a system of huts for day and overnight use near Ashford, just west of Mount Rainier National Park.

Although primarily a cross country ski trail network, snowshoers are welcome on the trails and in the huts so long as trail etiquette is followed. This generally means keeping to the edges of the groomed trails and yielding right of way to skiers. As most of the trails do double duty as logging roads in the summer, there is plenty of room for all to enjoy the gently rolling terrain come winter.

Follow the signs to Forest Road 92 which leads to "North District" snow parks and the trailhead to Copper Creek. The distance to the hut depends as there are three Sno-Parks that serve as parking areas, depending snow conditions at various altitudes. The lower the snow line, the longer the distance to the hut. Plan on a minimum of a nine mile round trip hike and note that Washington non-motorized Sno-Park Permits are required at all the parking areas.

Along the way, the trail is well-signed and moderately inclined for about a mile, until you arrive at a junction marked 'Cooper's Loop'. No signs here indicate which way the hut is, so to reach Copper Creek Hut, take the right fork. The left fork heads uphill, following a ridgeline and a series of snowshoe blazes back to the Overlook Trail and ultimately looping back to the upper Sno-Park.

On the right-hand trail heading towards the hut, gradually gain elevation until reaching another junction, about 3 miles from the upper parking area. Here you can either take the Rainier View Trail, or the Valley View Trail to reach the hut; the trees are grown up enough that neither route affords a view of the mountain, but the Rainier View Trail is more direct. Take it, and after another mile, arrive at a final junction, where the hut is only half a mile away. The trail descend from here, then traverses around a knob and ascends steeply for just a few hundred feet, ending directly outside Copper Creek Hut.

During the day, the heated hut, with it’s well appointed kitchen and outdoor restroom is open to the public and frequently staffed with volunteer ski patrollers on weekends. Overnight stays at the huts can be arranged with reservations and a nominal charge for a permit. Learn more about overnighting at the huts.

Copper Creek and the North District are only open in the winter season, typically from November 15th through April 15th.

 

Copper Creek Hut Snowshoe

Map & Directions

Trailhead
Co-ordinates: 46.7784, -122.0233 Open map in new window

Trailhead

Mount Rainier Area -- SW - Longmire/Paradise

Washington State Department of Natural Resources

See weather forecast

Guidebooks & Maps

100 Cross Country Ski Routes in the South Cascades by Spring/Kirkendall

USGS Mount Wow

Mount Tahoma Trails Association Map (at Whittaker Mountaineering in Ashford) or here: https://skimtta.org/maps-and-directions/

Getting There

The Mount Tahoma Trails System is located near Ashford, just outside the west entrance to Mount Rainier National Park. From I-5 near Tacoma, take Highway 7 south to its junction with Highway 706 in Elbe. Turn left, toward Ashford and the National Park. The access road, Forest Road 92 is located at mile marker 6 just west of the town of Ashford. Watch for the sign on the left.

After about a mile, the 92 road reverts to a typical logging road. Volunteers plow the road to the usable sno-park closest to the trailhead, but conditions can turn snowy and icy and all vehicles should have tire chains ready for use. On weekends, all first time visitors are encouraged to stop in at the Mount Tahoma Trails Association Office, located behind the Fire Station in Ashford for further information, maps and trail conditions.

Parking Pass/Entry Fee

Sno-Parks Permit
This trail is open for day use but the Mount Tahoma Huts are closed to prevent the spread of COVID-19
 

You can improve or add to this guidebook entry

Copper Creek Hut Snowshoe

82 Trip Reports

Hiked here recently?

Submit a trip report!
 
Trip Reports