Naches Peak Loop Trail

Mount Rainier National Park, Washington

Distance1.6mi
Elevation Gain826ft
Trailhead Elevation5,330ft
Top5,886ft
Elevation Min/Max5330/5886ft
Elevation Start/End5330/5330ft

Naches Peak Loop Trail

Naches Peak Loop Trail is a hiking trail in Pierce County and Yakima County, Washington. It is within Mount Rainier National Park and Okanogan-Wenatchee National Forest. It is 1.6 miles long and begins at 5,330 feet altitude. Traveling the entire trail is 2.8 miles with a total elevation gain of 826 feet. The Naches Peak Loop Trailhead information guidepost is near the trailhead. There are also parkings, recyclings, picnic sites, and a waste basket. The trail ends near the Chinook Pass (elevation 5,427 feet) saddle. This trail connects with the following: Pacific Crest Trail.

Naches Peak Loop Trail Professional Reviews and Guides

"This loop packs a lot of wallop within its short distance. You can immerse yourself with some of the best Mount Rainier National Park has to offer and without a lot of work! There is easy access to alpine scenery, a couple of ponds, an alpine lake, Cascade Mountain vistas, dramatic views of Mount Rainier, midsummer floral displays, and lots of fall color."

"A popular loop in summer, Naches Peak Trail offers small mountain lakes, subalpine forest, good views of Mount Rainier, and a worthwhile side trip to Dewey Lake. The Naches Peak Trail straddles the national park boundary, which means it is subject to somewhat different rules than other hikes.

For instance, you do not have to pay an entrance fee to hike this trail, as long as you leave your car outside the park boundaries. Keep in mind that a forest service or interagency pass may be required. Also, pets are allowed on the portion of the trail outside the park boundary. These facts, coupled with a nice picnic area and stellar views, make Naches Peak a popular summer hike. If you bring a pet, however, you cannot complete the loop and must turn around at the park entrance sign, where the Naches Peak Trail intersects the Pacific Crest Trail."

"On this classic hike—one of the easiest view-packed loops within Mount Rainer National Park—don’t expect to be alone. But do expect in summer to be dazzled by wild?owers and in
fall swooned by what Manning described as “a magni?cence of ?aming autumn color that will send your New England visitors back home crestfallen.”

Add close-up views of glacier-cloaked Mount Rainier, a couple of small alpine lakes, plus resident marmots, ground squirrels, and deer—and what a hike!"

"The meadows surrounding this high loop around Naches Peak burst with flowers. After an initial climb, the trail stays flat as it contours around the mountain, making for an easy hike. You’ll cross over snow-fed streams that trickle through peaceful wildflower gardens. The scenery seems too good to be true, until it gets better. The views of Mount Rainier from the last third of the trail are breathtaking. This is a great hike to do with kids or anyone who wants to experience exquisite alpine beauty without working too hard for it."

"Early in the summer (July), the flower gardens along this loop rival those to be found anywhere. The first 1. 6 miles of this hike are within Mount Rainier National Park. This trail is open to hikers only, as are most of the trails in Mount Rainier National Park. The meadows here are covered with western pasqueflowers and buttercups in early summer (July). There will be another viewpoint to the right as the route makes a left turn to head northwest.

As you descend the mostly open slope, the Chinook Pass Highway comes into view to the north. If you are here early in the summer, you will cross several tiny streams and pass beneath a small waterfall as you descend along this slope, but by August they will likely all be dry. Snowdrifts covering parts of the trail here are possible well into July."

"Chinook Pass is one of several access points to the Pacific Crest Trail. You can hike either north or south on the PCT, but for a variety of scenery the Naches Loop is recommended. Hiking clockwise is also recommended— the window of opportunity to hike this trail without running into snow is limited, and in late July or early August you may still find lingering snow on the east slopes of Naches Peak.

If in doubt, take an ice ax, or begin the loop counterclockwise and turn back if you hit significant snow. In late July, come for the flowers. In September, come for the fall colors and berries. Or come anytime Chinook Pass is open."

"A popular loop in summer, Naches Peak Trail offers small mountain lakes, subalpine forest, good views of Mount Rainier, and a worthwhile side trip to Dewey Lake.

The Naches Peak Trail straddles the national park boundary, which means two things: first, you do not have to pay an entrance fee to hike this trail; second, pets are allowed on the portion of the trail outside the park boundary. These facts, coupled with a nice picnic area and stellar views, make Naches Peak a popular summer hike."

"Naches Peak is the southern guardian of Chinook Pass. Its proximity to a major highway and its gentle eastern bowls make it a worthy early season objective. In clear weather, the views alone make this trip worth the drive. Difficulties: Moderate avalanche potential."

Naches Peak Loop Trail Reviews

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10/7/2018
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9/7/2012
This is an easy afternoon hike to get out and stretch your legs the elevation change is minimal and spread over the length of the trail. The only thing strenuous about the trail is the altitude. The wild flowers were in full bloom and the temperature was perfect. We did the trail in the clockwise direction starting at the parking lot on the east side of Chinook pass and were rewarded with great views of MT Rainer. People walking it in the opposite direction commented that they had to constantly look over their shoulder to see the mountain. Pit toilets are available at both parking lots. The final portion of the loop follows the road up and over Chinook pass back to the parking lot. There are several mountain lakes along the trial and a number of viewpoints from saddles. The trail breaks off to several longer trails including to PCT.
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7/18/2009
Very nice loop trail that is best started at Tipsoo Lake, then to the trail bridge over the highway about 1/4 mile up. This way you're walking clockwise on the trail and Mt. Rainier will be in front of you for almost half of the trail. This is not a trail for small children but you will find any number of people trying to coax the little tikes up the hill. We encountered significant snow on the trail, especially on the east side of Naches Peak. While this trail offers 5-star views and is really a 4-star trail, I have lowered its rating to 3 because of the high volume of foot traffic we encountered on the hike. If you are looking for solitude, this is not the trail for you. I have posted a panorama I took overlooking a tarn on the west side of Naches Peak: http://gigapan.org/viewGigapan.php?id=28508 Video can be found on YouTube. Happy trails! /Randal
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8/20/2008
great easy trail for when you just want to get out or are just starting out...went up on sat..it was rainy, but not horrible. lots of blueberries and quite a few other hikers as well.
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8/2/2008
Great easy trail, good if you have little ones or just feel like an easy stroll.
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7/25/2008
Excellent views
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Naches Peak Loop Trail Photos

Trail Information

Mount Rainier National Park
Nearby City
Okanogan-Wenatchee National Forest
Parks
Dog-friendly, Kid-friendly
Accessibility
Moderate
Skill Level
Horseback Riding
Additional Use
Views, Wildflowers
Features
White River Wilderness Information Center, (360) 569-6670
Local Contacts

Activity Feed

Oct 2018