Burroughs Mountain Loop

Mount Rainier National Park

A stunning alpine loop hike up Burroughs Mountain.

Hiking Moderate

Distance
8.1 km
Ascent
343 m
Descent
343 m
Duration
2-3 hrs
Low Point
1.9 km
High Point
2.2 km
Gradient
10˚
Burroughs Mountain Loop Map

This moderate hike combining the Burroughs Mountain Trail, Sourdough Ridge Trail, and the Wonderland Trail will take you high into the alpine, affording incredible views of Mount Rainier. Even though you'll reach such spectacular views of the towering, glaciated peak, this hike is relatively easy. The route only gains a total of 1,125 vertical feet, according to FATMAP.

Description

The hike begins on the well-developed Sourdough Ridge Trail. Sourdough Ridge starts directly from the Sunrise Visitors Center, quickly gaining the ridge and then following a well-developed benchcut trail across the mountainside. Since this trail sees so much traffic, the national park has developed it into a wide, well-reinforced trail tread. Even so, the setting is absolutely spectacular, and you'll enjoy stunning views along this lower section.

After passing Frozen Lake, the hike kicks up a short, moderately steep section of trail. But once on top of the low mountain, the views of Mount Rainier truly open up into a spectacular panorama that will force you to dig out your cell phone and snap photos like a madman! The scenery from this low mountain ridge is truly stunning, leaving no question in the eye of the beholder that Mount Rainier is genuinely one of the most beautiful mountain peaks in the USA.

While you can definitely continue hiking toward 2nd Burroughs Mountain (and beyond) for even more mileage, this 5-mile loop takes a left turn down the Burroughs Mountain trail to work its way back to Sunrise. Even so, the next stretch of this hike affords stupendous views in a different direction, most notably highlighting expansive vistas of the Emmons Glacier—the largest glacier in the Lower 48.

All too soon, you'll find yourself back at the visitors center, reflecting on this truly incredible mountain experience in the majestic Mount Rainier National Park.

Difficulty

Moderate

Hiking along trails with some uneven terrain and small hills. Small rocks and roots may be present.

Medium Exposure

2 out of 4

The trail contains some obstacles such as outcroppings and rock which could cause injury.

Remoteness

2 out of 4

Away from help but easily accessed.

Best time to visit

July, August, September, October

Features

  • Alpine
  • Historical
  • Picturesque
  • Wild flowers
  • Family friendly

Similar routes nearby

Guidebooks in this area