Glacier Basin Trail

Greenwater, Washington 98022

Glacier Basin Trail

Glacier Basin Trail Professional Review and Guide

"A moderate ascent skirts the Emmons Glacier Moraine to a camp at the foot of the Inter Glacier, the icy path crossed by climbers summiting Mount Rainier from Camp Schurman. Head west along the Glacier Basin Trail. Immediately after the trailhead, an informational board describes this and other hikes near White River Campground.

From here continue 1.0 mile through tranquil forest to the junction with the Emmons Moraine Trail. At this junction stay to the right (west) along the main trail. In about 0.1 mile, a small, bubbling falls crosses the path. The trail ascends gradually but steadily for 2.0 miles."

Glacier Basin Trail Reviews

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From the White River campground parking lot, walk west past the campgrounds to where the paved road loops back. The trail head is here unless you are coming down from Sunrise. I have not tried that way. I basically wanted a fast day hike and carried mostly water, food and the Ten Essentials. This is an easy trail with very gradual elevation gain where you'll encounter scores of mountaineers with heavy packs heading up to the top of Rainier. This area once hosted an 1880s ming site with a hotel, aerial tram and electric generating station. After the first mile you'll get good views of the Emmons Glacier,the largest in the lower 48 states. About 3.5 miles up you reach the campground area and you'll pass through into a large meadow that will have great flower blooms in July. This is a great place to picnic and then head down to the very cold glaciel melt running in a rocky bed. Hiking time to this point is 1 -2 hours depending upon the usual factors: health/fitness/pack weight. If you venture past the meadow stay on the main trail and keep an eye out for marmots and mountain goats. Do not "play" on the glacier without the necessary equipment or experience. Leave that to the mountaineers.

Glacier Basin Trail Photos

Trail Information

Nearby City
1,280 feet
Elevation Gain
Trail Type
Skill Level
3 to 5 hours
Early July to September
4,200 feet
Trailhead Elevation
5,900 feet
Top Elevation
White River Wilderness Information Center
Local Contacts
USGS Sunrise, White River; Trails Illustrated Mount Rainier National Park; Astronaut's Vista: Mount Rainier National Park; Earthwalk Press Hiking Map and Guide
Local Maps

Activity Feed

Jul 2018