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Little Ranger Peak via Ranger Creek

Mount Rainier Area

Location

Mount Rainier Area -- Chinook Pass - Hwy 410
View map below

Length

12.0 miles, roundtrip

Elevation

Gain: 2500 ft.
Highest Point: 5010 ft.

Rating

3.50 out of 5

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WTA worked here: 2021
 

Parking Pass/Entry Fee

Northwest Forest Pass
 
 

This infrequently visited trail is the perfect hike early in the season, because the snow melts off the south-facing flanks of the peak early. If you miss the springtime, save it for fall, because the deciduous trees that line the path make it ideal for a shot of fall color. Enjoy a moderately graded that leads you to a summit that boasts views of Rainier and the White River valley.

Follow the White River Trail south along the highway to find the trailhead for the Ranger Creek Trail. Start here, and climb gradually through imposing old-growth forest, passing trees laden with moss. The abundance of life surrounding you is humbling.

Keep an eye out for mobile life, too! Lots of different critters make their home here, though they can be quick and hard to catch a glimpse of. Look up for squirrels and birds flitting through the canopy, and look down for other creatures hunkered down in the underbrush.

Continue climbing through the valley for a little more than two miles, until a sharp turn in the trail takes you away from a fork of Ranger Creek. Head up the sides of the mountain using several long, winding switchbacks, until you arrive at the "summit" -- six miles from the trailhead.

The trail skirts the true summit of Little Ranger Peak, but views from the trail are nearly as good as those from the highest point on the peak. Take a load off and have lunch, taking in the views of Rainier and the peaks of the White River valley before heading back the way you came.

WTA Pro Tip: If you've arranged a shuttle ahead of time, it is possible to take Palisades Trail down seven miles to Highway 410 and drive back to your car. Or do a key swap with another group! The Palisades Trail goes by the stream that feeds Snoquera Falls, and down a moderate grade to the highway.

 

Little Ranger Peak via Ranger Creek

Map & Directions

Trailhead
Co-ordinates: 47.0243, -121.5369 Open map in new window

Trailhead

Mount Rainier Area -- Chinook Pass - Hwy 410

Ranger Creek (#1197)

Mt. Baker-Snoqualmie National Forest, Snoqualmie Ranger District

See weather forecast

Guidebooks & Maps

Day Hiking: Snoqualmie Pass (Nelson - Mountaineers Books)

Green Trails No. 238 Greenwater

Getting There

From Enumclaw, head east on State Route 410 for 30 miles. Less than a mile past Camp Sheppard Boy Scout Camp, the trail to Little Ranger Peak takes off from the east side of the highway.

Parking Pass/Entry Fee

Northwest Forest Pass
 

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Little Ranger Peak via Ranger Creek

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