Miller Peak is an excellent, challenging day hike, which gains 3200 feet to the high point. But all that climbing affords you breathtaking views of the Stuarts, and much of the Teanaway area, as well as Mount Rainier.
Begin from the Miller Peak trail at the end of Road 9703. The trail parallels Miller Creek, and for the first mile and a half, you’ll be right at the water’s edge. Of course, this means that trailside vegetation is well-watered, and you’ll be swimming through thick foliage for much of this section.
Finally though, the trail does begin switchbacking up and away from the creek. There are still several creek crossings ahead, so you have more opportunities to refill on water. Your final creek crossing is about 1.8 miles in. After that, the trail truly gets down to business and begins climbing steadily through pine forest and wildflowers to a viewpoint about 0.8 miles shy of the junction with the spur trail to Miller Peak.
This teaser view completes a relentlessly steep hillclimb, but you’re not finished yet! Head around the back of what you might think is Miller Peak, still climbing steadily, though more moderately, and enjoy views of Navaho Peak, Dragontail and some of the other Stuart Peaks, even Mount Rainier on a clear day.
In spring, this hillside explodes with wildflowers. Festooned primarily with lupine and balsamroot, there are plenty of others to take in as well, like bitterroot and columbine, among others.
Reach the junction with the Miller Peak spur trail 3.8 total miles from the trailhead. It may seem longer, but that’s because you’ve just climbed 2500 feet, and much of that was in the last 2.25 miles.
But the climbing's not over yet. In the 0.6 mile spur trail, you’ll gain yet another 600 feet to the summit of Miller. You can’t see it from here, but the views are truly spectacular from the small summit block. Up to now, the trail has been open to all users: mountain bikes, equestrians, and motorized bikes. The spur trail is supposed to be hiker only, but it's evident other users head up to the summit as well.
Follow a few short switchbacks, then pop out on a shoulder with excellent views, as well as a sign of things to come; a steep trail heading straight up the hill. Take a sip of water, and make that last push to the top, where you are rewarded with absolutely stunning 360-degree views.