Fremont Lookout Trail

Greenwater, Washington 98022

Fremont Lookout Trail

Fremont Lookout Trail Professional Review and Guide

"The Mount Fremont Trail, an easy half-day hike from the popular (and spectacular) Sunrise area, is an extremely popular hike that can be combined with other Sunrise-area destinations for a full day of wandering among some of the most spectacular mountain and alpine parkland scenery in the United States. The old fire-watch tower at trail’s end is dubbed the Fremont Lookout, but the stilted cabin actually sits on a secondary knoll, not the true summit, of Mount Fremont.

That’s okay, though, since the views from this historic structure are improved by its location at the more northern knob. On clear days, Glacier Peak, Mount Stuart, and even Mount Baker can be seen. If the air is too hazy for those distant views, watch the slopes around the north side of the ridge— mountain goats frequently rest on the slope as it drops off just past the trail’s end."

Fremont Lookout Trail Reviews

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We arrived for the first snow of the year - about 1/2" on the ground but blown into drifts about a foot deep in places. Sunrise is all closed in prep for winter - only the pit toilets still open. Gorgeous hike - high winds & clouds blowing through. The lookout is under repair with scaffolding on it & all locked up. Shutters down on two sides. Trail was in great shape except for drifted snow. Also did Burroughs Mountain (1st & 2nd). Beautiful day. Almost no-one there.
I gave this one two shots in one week, due to the fact that I ran out of time to reach the lookout the first time. That day, the mountain was all fogged over. Any glimpse of Mt. Rainier was confined to swirling white patches through the mist, but I found a lot more to keep me occupied. Mostly getting lost. The guide book I had was the one about best hikes for children, and I kept thinking how much it would suck if I''d had little kids with me and was wandering aimlessly around the dark corners of Mt. Rainier. The directions could use a little work. Then again so could my map-reading skills. Aside from that rant, I found it to be beautiful, gothic charm I''d say, with edges of everything eaten away by the freezing fog I didn''t expect in July. Upon returning to the main trail from my third wrong turn, I was lucky enough to bump into a very nice forest ranger who was heading in the direction I needed to go. If you run into Peter, say hello for me. By the time I reached Frozen Lake, I was pretty much frozen myself and needed to head back home. Next time up, it was sunny and hot with no lack of people. On the final curving ascent to the lookout, I saw a mother mountain goat and her tiny kid way up on the rise. The view was everything previous visitors will say it is. Huge expanse of white and rock in place of the mountain I know so well from a distance. Boggling expanse of forested swells and mountain ranges I couldn''t identify. Oh, and deer flies! The only unpleasant aspect of it all. DEET was the only thing that worked even moderately. I''m packing two bottles next time. This was a hike well worth a two-plus hour drive one way.
I hiking buddy and myself left early about 6:30 am and drove from Tacoma to Sunrise within the Mt. Rainier NP. Going through the Nisqually entrance it took approximately 3 hours. The weather was awesome! It was warm, clear and there was the presence of a slight breeze. We headed up from the trail head and made our way to Frozen Lake. We had a few encounters along the way with other hikers. Once we made our way to Frozen Lake we headed north and up. In the first 500 yards of the trail leaving the lake we encounter right along the trail a marmot who was setting in his body stores for the coming winter. Though he was about 8 feet away he paid little attention to our presence. As we stood there watching him we noticed three additional companions of our marmot moving around the mountain side above us. After a bit we moved out again. We made our way along the side of mountain and for the last bit up to the lookout we moved across a trail made of various size rocks. The view from the lookout as incredible!! To the south was the splendor of Mt. Rainier. To the north you could easily see Mt. Baker and Glacier Mountain. To the northwest we could make out Seattle and the Olympics loomed to the western border of our vision. From this vantage we watched hawks riding thermals along the ridges below. After a break and some time taking everything in we headed down. We had an opportunity to chat with a NPS Volunteer. The return was uneventful except upon our return the parking lot was completely full and crowds had amassed. It was an relatively easy and provided some awesome vistas.

Fremont Lookout Trail Photos

Trail Information

Nearby City
800 feet
Elevation Gain
Trail Type
Skill Level
6,450 feet
Trailhead Elevation
7,200 feet
Top Elevation
Sunrise Ranger Station
Local Contacts
Green Trails Mount Rainier East, No. 270
Local Maps

Activity Feed

Jul 2018