Sheep Lake and Sourdough Gap via Pacific Crest Trail

Sunrise, Washington

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The Pacific Crest Trail to Sheep Lake is better known to backpackers than to wildflower enthusiasts, but this stretch of the PCT is gentle, scenic, and only a short distance from Chinook Pass. This trail provides a good introduction to the flowers of Mount Rainier. Late July through early August is generally the best time to experience the floral displays, but if you hike later in the season you will also find ripening blueberries and plenty of flowers still in bloom. The combination of berries, late summer flowers, meadows, and views of Mount Rainier make this a hike to remember. Sheep Lake is also an ideal destination for beginning backpackers or families with small children. Because the lake is not in Mount Rainier National Park, camping is allowed on a first-come, first-served basis, though solitude may be hard to come by.
Best Wildflower Hikes Washington

DESCRIPTION FROM:

Best Wildflower Hikes Washington

by Art Kruckeberg with Karen Sykes & Craig Romano (The Mountaineers Books)

The Pacific Crest Trail to Sheep Lake is better known to backpackers than to wildflower enthusiasts, but this stretch of the PCT is gentle, scenic, and only a short distance from Chinook Pass. This trail provides a good introduction to the flowers of Mount Rainier.

Late July through early August is generally the best time to experience the floral displays, but if you hike later in the season you will also find ripening blueberries and plenty of flowers still in bloom. The combination of berries, late summer flowers, meadows, and views of Mount Rainier make this a hike to remember. Sheep Lake is also an ideal destination for beginning backpackers or families with small children. Because the lake is not in Mount Rainier National Park, camping is allowed on a first-come, first-served basis, though solitude may be hard to come by.

© 2004 Art Kruckeberg with Karen Sykes & Craig Romano/The Mountaineers Books. All Rights Reserved.

Activity Type: Hiking
Nearby City: Sunrise
Distance: 6
Elevation Gain: 1,300 feet
Trail Type: Out-and-back
Skill Level: Moderate
Season: Hikable: July through October, Best flowers: July through August
Local Contacts: Naches Ranger District
Local Maps: Green Trails Nos. 270 Mount Rainier East and 271 Bumping Lake
Driving Directions: Directions to Sheep Lake and Sourdough Gap via Pacific Crest Trail

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Apr 2018