Tolmie Peak Trail

Mount Rainier National Park, Washington

Distance1.6mi
Elevation Gain1,431ft
Trailhead Elevation5,116ft
Top5,928ft
Elevation Min/Max4884/5928ft
Elevation Start/End5116/5116ft

Tolmie Peak Trail

Tolmie Peak Trail is a hiking trail in Pierce County, Washington. It is within Mount Rainier National Park. It is 1.6 miles long and begins at 5,116 feet altitude. Traveling the entire trail is 3.3 miles with a total elevation gain of 1,431 feet. The trail ends near the Ipsut Pass (elevation 5,115 feet) saddle. There is also an information guidepost near the end of the trail. This trail connects with the following: Wonderland Trail.

Tolmie Peak Trail Professional Reviews and Guides

"This very popular hike travels through forest and meadow to a fire lookout atop Tolmie Peak, which offers a spectacular view of the northwestern side of Mount Rainier. The trail also takes you by serene Eunice Lake, a lake surrounded by jutting peaks and subalpine forest.

The hike to Tolmie Peak is one of the most popular in the northwest region of Mount Rainier National Park for many reasons. Neither too long nor too rigorous, it provides the opportunity to explore subalpine forests and a serene lake as well as catch a breathtaking panorama of Mount Rainier."

"Bring the kids for this one so they can join everyone else’s kids in trooping up to see grand views at a lovely alpine lake, with none of those raspy-looking backpacker types fouling the air along the trail. Tolmie Peak is a day-hiker’s special. It’s about the right distance, offers the right touch of outdoor magic at its destination, and has been ruled off-limits to overnighters."

Tolmie Peak Trail Reviews

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7/11/2018
I love this one. The trail is moderate and you will have to navigate some snow, but WOW. It is a wonderful opportunity to commune with Tolmie and the beautiful, stunning Mount Rainier in all of its magnificence.
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9/11/2010
First hike in a while and this was perfect. Eunice and Mowich lakes are perfectly clear and beautiful.
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7/18/2010
Wonderful hike, especially the actual ascent up to the top. Mowitch Lake and Eunice Lake are clear and deep blue. There was still snow on the trail up at Eunice Lake but it was passable. The best part of this hike is the unmaintained trail at the lookout station that goes to the true peak of Tolmie Peak. According to my daughter, "you can't say you climbed Tolmie peak unless you go to the top". So off we went. I could only go halfway before my nerves got the best of me. I waited while my daughter continue on with the fearlessness of a mountain goat. I noticed while sitting on the ridge that the accoustics are so good that I could hear the people below at the lake as they talked. You can also see Mowitch Lake from the top. As you hike the trail be sure to take a short 200 ft detour at Insput Pass just for the view, its great.
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8/7/2009
Trail was in excellent condition although there are some very "rooty" patches as you begin to ascend above Mowich Lake. Watch your step - these are potential ankle breakers on the way up and tripping opportunities on the way down. It was cloudy and foggy at the trailhead. By the time we reached Ipsut Pass (1 mile), we had already climed above the clouds which made the view from that vantage point quite amazing. From the Ipsut Pass junction you descend quite a bit before regaining all of that ground on your way to Tolmie's summit. This is summer though and when the clouds clear, the bugs swarm. The mosquitoes were right out of Jurassic Park and numbered in the trillions. They were at their worst on top -- even with netting around our heads, long pants and sleeves, we could not even sit down and take a break up top. Three minutes and we were sent fleeing back down the mountain. For a typical on-your-butt office worker like me, this was a 4 on the difficulty scale but well worth the effort. The view of majestic Rainier from this trail surpasses a spiritual experience. It is here where my ashes will be spread. We will be back on this trail in October when all of the insects are history and we can actually spent some time on the ridges adjacent to Tolmie Peak. The fire lookout on at Tolmie is locked with no public access available; shame on the lawyer who came up with that idea. For tent campers, I suggest setting up base camp at Mowich Lake where you can explore Tolmie one day and Spray Park the next. The hike from this campground over to Ipsut Creek campground would probably be pretty cool too!
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8/20/2006
Great hike great views had Hunter on my back,he loved it ton of people on this day saw a goat
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7/8/2005
This is not the most interesting or rewarding trail when the weather is bad, we discovered. It rained hard the whole day, blocking all the views but those nearest at hand. The lake at the start of the trail was pretty, but we had trouble figuring out what to do on the trail, as there were numerous side trails entering and leaving, most unmarked. I'm still not sure what trail we hiked, but we did eventually arrive at a sign stating Tolmie Peak. The peak was a mystery though. All we saw was another lake and some beautiful flower meadows with a stream running though them. I will say the rain came with the blessing of empty trails and solitude. As a result, we were able to sit quietly and watch a young buck with tiny horn buds walk past us not 15 feet away. So, no wildly inspiring mountian views, but a few nice lakes and some wild life.
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10/2/2004
On this hike you get a bigger lake, a smaller lake, a great trail, a lookout cabin, and some exploration at the summit. Be sure to hike over to what may be the true summit of Tolmie Peak just a bit further along the ridge. Over there you can find solitude and different views. Most of the area around Eunice Lake is posted to stay off and no camping is allowed there. The best way to reach this place is via Ipsut Creek and Ipsut Pass, but it is longer.
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8/10/2004
Great hike - though steeper than I expected. Could be that since we were doing it the day after Camp Muir, our legs were just tired though. Mowich Lake is a beautiful starting point, though I'd recommend getting there as early as possible - parking sucks on a busy summer day. Eunice Lake is beautiful...but don't be scared of how high the Tolmie Peak lookout seems from there - just a few switchbacks up the mountain and you're there before you know it. And the views of Rainier, St. Helens, Baker, Glacier and Pinnnacle from up there are awesome. It was so clear, we even had nice views of the Seattle and Tacoma skylines from the lookout.
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10/7/2001
Tolmie Peak almost...Reached the Mowich trailhead around 9:30am. The parking lot was half full even though the air was nippy and the skies threatening. We bundled our dtr Lili in her trusty snowsuit and then all 6 and 1/2 of us started off toward Tolmie Peak. The trail meanders along Mowich lake with Knapsack Pass, Faye Peak, Castle Peak and others off in the distance. It travels up and down for about a mile and a quarter to the Ipsut Pass junction. We took the left fork where the trail dropped about 100 ft and then climbed steeply toward Eunice Lake in about a mile. Snow showers fell sporadically as we trudged along. Reached Eunice Lake which sits at about 5355ft. Sitting high above was the lookout about 0.9 of a mile from the lake. The blueberry bushes were in full color, a blaze of pretty oranges and reds. As we started to ascend the final switchbacks to the lookout we met a man and his son. They said they were turning around because they had seen a mother bear and her cub. We of course were very excited and everyone grabbed their binoculars. We spotted her in a meadow just below the trail a couple of hundred feet above us. Then we spotted her little fur baby poking its nose out of the trees and then another fur baby followed closely behind. All of us were delighted but, even moreso when we saw the final fur baby, yes Mama bear and three cubs feasting on the blueberries above us! All looked fat and furry for the coming winter season. Tolmie Peak would have to wait!! Wisdom told us to give Mama and her babies a wide berth! We chose a spot along the lake for lunch and watched as she and her cubs descended closer to the lake shore. Even snapped a few shots! Lili at 20 mths got to see her first bear family! We left the lake around 12 noon as the temperature was dropping! Reached the car about 1:15pm. Our party informed the ranger of our sighting. She was very excited as a mother bear with triplets is indeed a rare sight. Apparently this bear and her cubs had been seen at Mystic lake earlier this summer. Definitely a family on the move! So we went about 4 miles and 500ft but, not disappointed because of the pleasant surprise that had greeted us all! Halley/Joey and Liliana
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9/2/2001
I took my 20 and 7 year old daughters to check out this trail. We got our start at about 10:00 am. We started at Mowich Lake (a very beautiful lake) and worked our way around the lake. The trail then moves down and north. A fairly easy trail, but a bit more crowded than I care for. The 7 year old made it to Eunice Lake then to the peak with a bit of encouragement (too much TV in her diet). Eunice Lake is nestled into the rock that looms on its north side. We then made our way up the switchbacks that lead us to the Tolmie Peak Lookout. This was an incredible view!! Rainier was there in all its grandure. We were unable to see the Olympics due to cloud cover and looking to the south was tough also due to building cloud cover. However, we did make out a bit of Mt. St. Helens between the clouds. There was solid cool breeze whipping around at the top. After a stay of about half an hour at the top we began our way down. This went fairly quickly and the 7 year old accomplished her first 7 mile trail. It was a great day to spend time with two of my daughters on a great trail.
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Tolmie Peak Trail Photos

Trail Information

Mount Rainier National Park
Nearby City
Mount Rainier National Park
Parks
Kid-friendly
Accessibility
Moderate
Skill Level
Camping
Additional Use
Views
Features
Carbon River Ranger Station, (360) 829-9639
Local Contacts