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Shadow Lake - Sunrise Camp Loop

Mount Rainier Area

Location

Mount Rainier Area -- NE - Sunrise/White River
View map below

Length

3.7 miles, roundtrip

Elevation

Gain: 200 ft.
Highest Point: 5400 ft.

Rating

4.31 out of 5

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This sweet little loop leaves from the Sunrise Visitor Center at Mount Rainier and encompasses a lovely little lake, an unexpected campsite, and views of the mountain's eastern flanks and glaciers.

From Sunrise, at 6400 feet, follow the large staircase heading northeast (between the bathrooms and the cafe). Climb the long, wide steps up to a junction with the Sourdough Ridge Trail, 0.7 miles from the trailhead. Peer into Huckleberry Basin, then hang a left, and gradually climb to 6800 feet in 0.3 miles.

Here, you'll find a junction with the trail to Forest Lake branching off to the right. Continue straight on, passing talus slopes that may house pikas chirping or marmots sunning. After 0.8 miles, arrive at Frozen Lake. Off limits to hikers, this large lake serves as the water source for Sunrise. The junction you are had has a myriad of options: Burroughs Mountain, Berkeley Park, Fremont Lookout, but your route is to your left, a nearly 180-degree switchback that leaves the little saddle that houses this junction, and descends 400 feet in a little more than a half mile to another junction.

This one offers either a road walk, or to your left, a narrower trail. Though the road walk is more direct, and may be a welcome shortcut for families with fussy kids, the trail to your right is more scenic. Take it.

Continuing on in the basin, find yourself with an up-close view of wildflowers and grassy fields. In 0.4 miles, arrive at Sunrise Camp. This little camp is part of the Wonderland Trail, which makes its existence just behind Sunrise Visitor Center make a little more sense.

Hike through Sunrise Camp and continue on a flatly traversing trail, passing a murky lake. This is Shadow Lake, and a trail branching off to the left offers a detour and a nice place for a picnic if you wish. Otherwise, continue hiking straight on. It's a half mile past the lake that you come upon yet another junction. A right turn here takes you down along the Wonderland Trail, a steep 2.6 miles to the White River valley.

Fortunately, your route is much flatter and shorter. Continue straight ahead for half a mile, then a left hand turn leads up a short slope into the south side of the Sunrise parking lot.

 

Shadow Lake - Sunrise Camp Loop

Map & Directions

Trailhead
Co-ordinates: 46.9146, -121.6423 Open map in new window

Trailhead

Mount Rainier Area -- NE - Sunrise/White River

Mount Rainier National Park

See weather forecast

Guidebooks & Maps

Day Hiking: Mt. Rainier National Park Trails (Nelson & Bauer - Mountaineers Books)

Green Trails Mount Rainier East No. 270

Getting There

From Enumclaw, follow SR 410 east for 43 miles until you reach Sunrise Park Rd/White River Rd. Make a slight right at the fork and follow along for 5 miles and over the White River. The road then switchbacks to become exclusively Sunrise River Rd and continues 10 miles to its end at the Sunrise Visitor Center and the parking area.

 

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Shadow Lake - Sunrise Camp Loop

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