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Mirror Lakes

Mount Rainier Area

Location

Mount Rainier Area -- SW - Longmire/Paradise
View map below

Length

14.0 miles, roundtrip

Elevation

Gain: 3900 ft.
Highest Point: 5400 ft.

Rating

3.17 out of 5

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Parking Pass/Entry Fee

National Park Pass
 
 

Just a short jaunt from the ranger cabin at Indian Henry's Hunting Grounds is Mirror Lakes, a beautiful little tarn that, in the right weather, reflects Rainier's west-facing slopes beautifully.

From the cabin at Indian Henry's Hunting Ground, head north on the Wonderland Trail. If you're coming southbound on the Wonderland, you'll see the junction for Mirror Lakes before reaching this cabin. This intersection is signed, but the sign is low to the ground, so can be easy to miss.

Turn east, and follow the trail to Mirror Lakes, about a mile from the Wonderland Trail. Even if it's a cloudy day and you won't get the reflection, it's worth a side trip in the summer and fall, since huckleberries line the trail on both sides and you can stuff your mouth as well as any water bottles or other containers you may have brought for just that purpose.

While the actual side trip to Mirror Lakes is only two miles roundtrip, depending on where you start, you have between a 5 to 6.5 mile approach to the intersection. Take this into consideration when planning your hike.

 

Mirror Lakes

Map & Directions

Trailhead
Co-ordinates: 46.7957, -121.8415 Open map in new window

Trailhead

Mount Rainier Area -- SW - Longmire/Paradise

Mount Rainier National Park

See weather forecast

Guidebooks & Maps

Green Trails Mount Rainier West No. 269

Green Trails Randle No. 301

Getting There

To reach Mirror Lakes from the Kautz Creek Trailhead: Drive Highway 7 to the small town of Elbe. At the east edge of town, the road splits; the left-hand branch leads into the national park. Continue through the Nisqually entrance of the park and look for a parking area with facilities on the right-hand side of the road, just after passing a bridge and culvert.

To reach Mirror Lakes via the Tahoma Creek Trail: From the Nisqually entrance of Mount Rainier National Park (off Highway 706), drive east on Nisqually-Longmire Road for 1 mile. Turn left onto the West Side Road, the first road to the left after the entrance, briefly paved. Follow the gravel road for 3.2 miles to the end and park.
To reach Mirror Lakes via Longmire: From I-5, take exit 143 for S 320th St toward Federal Way. Stay in the left 2 lanes to turn left onto S 320th and proceed for 0.8 miles. Turn right onto Military Road S and drive for 4.4 miles, then turn left onto WA-161 S and proceed for 3.9 miles.

Get into the two left-hand lanes, and turn left onto WA-167 N toward WA 410, then take the exit for 512 W toward 161 S. Proceed on 512 W for 2.5 miles, then exit for South Hill. Follow the signs for 161S/Eatonville/Mount Rainier.

Stay on 161 S for 22.6 miles, then turn left onto Center St. E, into Eatonville. Continue onto Alder Cutoff Road E for 6.5 miles, then at a 'T' intersection, turn left onto WA-7 S. Drive through the tiny town of Elbe and continue along Hwy 706, which becomes the Paradise Road when you enter the park. Longmire is about 25 miles from the 'T' intersection before Elbe.

Park in the large parking area at Longmire, and head back across the paved highway to find the Trail of the Shadows and your trailhead.

Parking Pass/Entry Fee

National Park Pass
 

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Mirror Lakes

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