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Tatoosh Traverse

Mount Rainier National Park

A Small Traverse Through the Middle of the Tatoosh Range

Ski Touring Difficult

12 km
1.5 km
1.5 km
6-7 hrs
Low Point
1.2 km
High Point
1.9 km
Tatoosh Traverse Map

The Tatoosh Traverse was a trip that we had been talking about for years. It should be said that this isn’t a full traverse but totally doable in a day trip. Since you will spend quite a bit of time on South faving avalanche slopes make sure only to do this trip if you are confident in the snowpack. While you will have to climb up some pretty steep slopes fortunately this trip is pretty straightforward and there is a good chance you will have this zone to yourself.


Heading up the Paradise road you need to start this tour at the Narada Falls Parking lot. Start by heading east up the open slopes before reconnecting with the Stevens Canyon Road and follow it out to the Reflection Lakes area. Keep heading South on the road wrapping around a ridge then once at the base of Sunbeam Basin start heading south. Before long you will get into an opening basin where you can climb lookers right through the trees before connecting with the Pinnacle Glacier Basin. From here head southeast to the ridge before heading west to and climbing the South face of Castle Mountain.

Standing on top of Castle Peak we dropped directly south into a wide open avalanche swath which connected with the main gully down lower. Transitioning around 5,200 feet make a hard traverse through the trees west crossing over another avalanche swath before getting into the protected trees and start gaining elevation. Follow the southeast bowl up through the trees and before long you will hit a flat bench and need to climb the semi steep southeast face before arriving on the summit of Plummer Peak.

Standing on Plummer Peak drop down the West bowl riding all the way to Cliff Lake. From here you will need to skin north a few hundred feet before arriving at a low col between Lane and Denman Peaks. Drop into the north facing chute arriving in the flats below. Now you can head East loosely following the main drainage which will reconnect with the Stevens Canyon Road. From here just follow the road north until you are just above the Narada Falls Parking lot and ride it back down to the car.

To see my trip in the area and more photos check out this link https://www.whereiskylemiller.com/mt-rainier/tatoosh-traverse/



Serious gradient of 30-38 degrees where a real risk of slipping exists.

Medium Exposure (E2)

2 out of 4

As well as the slope itself, there are some obstacles (such as rock outcrops) which could aggravate injury.


2 out of 4

Away from help but easily accessed.

Best time to visit

between February and April


  • Bowl
  • Face
  • Alpine
  • Tree Skiing

Equipment required

  • Skins

Similar routes nearby

Guidebooks in this area