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Mount Rainier Day Hike

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The hike

We will be hiking to First and Second Burroughs Mountain as a loop. It is a 5 mile trip with an elevation change of 900 feet to First Burroughs and an additional optional hike of 300 feet more to Second Burroughs. The hike starts at 6400 feet elevation. This is a hike for someone used to walking. If you have difficulty walking for an hour or two, this may be a hike you will want to skip. We expect the hike to last 5-6 hours with time to honor our grief and soak up the beauty.


Ira Spring and Harvey Manning introduce this hike in the 50 hikes of Mount Rainier thusly, “If there is a hike between earth and heaven, this is it.” They go on, “Burroughs mountain offers possibly the finest easily accessible tundra in the Cascades.” The views are enormous and heart-filling. We expect to be 5 hours on the trail. WTA and All Trails web sites have hikes labeled Burroughs Mountain, but they refer to Third Burroughs, a more ambitious hike than this one.


The weather on the mountain at 6400 feet can change quickly. Layers of clothing are key. You will want a warm base layer (warm t-shirt and maybe tights under shorts or pants), an extra fleece or puffy to put on at stops, and a rain resistant to rainproof layer of pants and jacket. Do not wear cotton because if it gets wet, you will get cold and it never dries out. The weather could be warm at 70’s with bright sun (and no tree cover) so bring all manner of sun protection. Or it could be somewhat cloudy and breezy in the lower to mid-fifties. Please bring two quarts of water, your extra layers, and a lunch in a daypack. We have a few small daypacks we can loan out. Finally, you will want sturdy hiking shoes or boots.

Location and Time

We will meet at Sunrise, Washington 98304 parking lot at 10:30. We will meet on the south side of the lot about midway east and west. It is on the opposite side of the lot from the Lodge. Saturday Sept. 22nd is a free day at the National Parks, so there is no admission charge. You can use Google Maps to determine the best route from your house. We recommend you print out the directions because you may lose cell service. From Seattle it is a little over a 2 hour drive. You will be taking State Highway 410. From Portland, the best way to go is up I-5 to highway 12 then go through White Pass along Highway 123. It will be a 3 hour 40 minute drive. From Olympia, we will carpool by meeting at the Martin Way Park and Ride right off exit 109 on I-5 just east of the freeway. We will meet there starting at 7:30 and leave by 7:50. From there it is a 2.5 hour ride to Sunrise via Enumclaw and highway 410.

You must register by emailing so we know how many are coming and where you are meeting us. And we can contact you if the weather prevents us from doing this hike.

Alternate Hike

If the forecast calls for stormy rainy weather, we will notify you via email the evening before that the mountain hike is cancelled. The alternate hike for inclement weather is the Billy Frank Nisqually National Wildlife Refuge. It is a wonderful hike even in rain that goes through fields, riparian forest next to the Nisqually River, and ends up at salt water marsh. It is also one of the premier wildlife refuges in all Puget Sound. It is due north from I-5 Exit 114 between Dupont and Lacey. We will all meet at the entrance to the visitor center that is between 2 parking lots at 10:30.



Earlier Event: August 12
august 12 Hike Habit Tolmie State Park
Later Event: October 13
Fall Celebration and Fundraiser