Exploring the Sunrise Area of Mt. Rainier National Park
At 6,400 feet, Sunrise is the highest point to which you can drive in all of Mt. Rainier National Park -- and all the Cascades, for that matter. It is 1000 feet higher than Paradise, and offers the Park's most panoramic views.
There are also wonderful places to visit on the lower half of the Sunrise Road. Summerland, Owyhigh Lakes, Glacier Basin, Emmons Moraine – all are trails worth exploring. And, if you're willing to get up early, watching the sunrise at Sunrise is a once-in-a-lifetime experience.
The Sunrise Road to the White River Campground (half way up) typically opens by Memorial Day weekend and the Sunrise Road to the top typically opens in late June. Exact opening dates for 2017 are still TBD.
GO FOR A HIKE.
You could easily spend a week or more exploring the hikes from Sunrise. Click here for the Park’s map of Sunrise trails.
The Washington Trails Association is also a great source of hiking information, and members even post trip reports showing recent conditions. (Consider a donation or membership as their information helps all of us enjoy these trails.)
Silver Forest & Emmons Vista 2.4 mi RT Great for all ages. The Emmons Vista is the perfect spot for photos. Click here.
Sunrise Nature Trail 1.5 mi RT Self-guided loop with great views. Click here.
Sunrise Rim/Shadow Lake Loop 3.5 mi RT Good for all ages. Kids seem to do better when they have a destination, and the frogs at Shadow Lake will entertain them. Click here.
Sourdough Ridge Trail to Frozen Lake 3 mi RT Incredible views. Keep an eye out for white dots in the distance as these are often mountain goats. Click here.
Sourdough Ridge to Dege Peak 4.2 mi RT Incredible 360° views of all the Cascades from Dege Peak. (There’s a shorter way to hike to Dege Peak from the Sunrise Point parking lot.) Click here.
Emmons Moraine Trail (from White River Campground) 3 mi RT Great views of the Emmons Glacier, the largest glacier in the lower 48 states. Click here.
Sunrise Rim/Frozen Lake Loop 5.2 mi RT Gorgeous views and 2 lakes. Click here.
Burroughs Mountain Trails
First Burroughs 4.8 mi RT
Second Burroughs 6.0 mi RT
Third Burroughs 9.0 mi RT
Views, views and more views. If you’re willing to work, Third Burroughs makes you feel like you can reach out and touch the summit. Large snow field can make the way difficult until later in the summer. Click here.
Mt. Fremont Lookout 5.6 mi RT Click here. An old fire lookout that’s fun to visit when a ranger is present, but great views any day. Click here.
Berkeley Park 7 mi RT Gorgeous waterfalls & wildflowers. Click here.
Summerland & Panhandle Gap 7 mi RT to Summerland; 12 mi RT to Panhandle Gap An amazing hike to meadows filled with wildflowers and marmots Click here.
Glacier Basin 6.5 mi RT Glorious views of Mt. Rainier and the Emmons Glacier and a lush basin filled with early summer flowers. Click here.
Owyhigh Lakes from White River Road 8 mi RT No views of Mt. Rainier, but lots of wildlife, a gorgeous forest and beautiful lakes. Click here.
Crystal Lakes (from Highway 410) 6 mi RT A steep climb to 2 beautiful mountain lakes. Click here.
The Sunrise Visitor Center is housed in a historic 1920’s building. Exhibits were updated a few years ago and they are a wonderful way to learn more about the Park. The Sunrise Visitor Center typically opens by July 1 and stays open through mid to late September.
The White River Wilderness Information Center at the Sunrise entrance usually opens around Memorial Day, and rangers there can provide maps and updated trail information. The Center typically stays open through early October.
The Sunrise Day Lodge offers a cafeteria as well as a gift shop. It typically opens around July 1 and stays open through early to mid September. Click here.
Click here for Mt. Rainier National Park's current operating schedule.
The Sunrise Road to the White River Campground usually opens sometime in May and is usually open through Columbus Day (or later).
The Sunrise Road to the top of Sunrise usually opens in late June and is usually open through Columbus Day (or later).
After these roads close, you can still visit the Chinook Pass and Ohanapecosh areas of the Park until Cayuse & Chinook Passes close:
Cayuse Pass (Highway 410 to Highway 123) usually opens late April to early May and closes with the first heavy snowfall (usually late November).
Chinook Pass (Highway 410 to/from Eastern Washington) usually opens in mid-May and closes with the first heavy snowfall (usually late November).
Click here for Cayuse Pass and Chinook Pass information.
Click here for Mt. Rainier road status.