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Crystal Mountain Resort

Mount Rainier Area

Location

Mount Rainier Area -- Chinook Pass - Hwy 410
View map below

Length

2.0 miles, roundtrip

Elevation

Rating

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A great trip in the summer or winter, the Gondola at Crystal Mountain is also open for snowshoeing! At the lodge, you can obtain a "Scenic Pass" that is good for one trip up and down. This pass is for pedestrians only. On a clear day, one can see Mounts Adams, St. Helens, Baker, Glacier Peak, the Olympics, and everything in between.

Once at the top, head to the right (north), following a ridgetop trail. Just a few minutes down the trail, look for a road crossing, a lefthand u-turn. Pass this, staying on the ridgetop until you take a gentle left, now heading west around a small peak. Here, a ski ramp on the right comes into view. Go left and slightly down the road, heading north.

Continue on the service road across another ridge top, then slightly left and around a second hill. Then, take a slight climb along the ridge top and when you top out, enjoy the view. Below are several acres of mountaintop meadow down below.

This is the most private area, though keep in mind you're still exploring a popular tourist destination and in winter, a ski resort. However, if you're lucky, in winter you may find a stash of untracked powder out on this flat meadow areas. Enjoy the surroundings -- this is is your turn around point.

To return the way you came, head south toward Summit House, visible for much of your walk.

If you are visiting in winter, consider these safety and courtesey tips:
The gondola is a tight fit. Stow your snowshoes so the sharp edges don't poke your partners.
Snowshoers must travel single file on the roadway sections. Skiers and boarders have the right-of-way and can be travelling fast. The downhill side of the road works best and gives the skiers the most room to set up their turns.
The farthest safe area is that meadow noted in the description. Don't go beyond this meadow, as it is an extremely steep descent that may have extreme avalanche danger.

 

Crystal Mountain Resort

Map & Directions

Trailhead
Co-ordinates: 46.9357, -121.4743 Open map in new window

Trailhead

Mount Rainier Area -- Chinook Pass - Hwy 410

Mount Rainier National Park

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Crystal Mountain Resort

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