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Sunrise to Mystic Lake

Mount Rainier Area


Mount Rainier Area -- NW - Carbon River/Mowich
View map below


18.0 miles, roundtrip


Gain: 1870 ft.
Highest Point: 6800 ft.


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Parking Pass/Entry Fee

National Park Pass
Road Closed 11.9.21: The highway to this trailhead is closed for the winter season. It will reopen in the spring when the snow can be cleared.

This is a trail where the journey is as interesting as the destination. Enjoy a beautiful waterfall and views of icy Winthrop Glacier. Gaze directly at Mount Rainier and witness the fascinating destruction caused by the floods of 2006. All of this is chased by the peaceful basin of Mystic Lake and surrounding meadows.

Find the Sourdough Ridge trail near the restrooms on the north side of the parking area. Climb through a meadow to a junction with the Sourdough Ridge Trail, where you head left (east) toward Frozen Lake. At Frozen Lake follow the signs for the Wonderland Trail westbound. At 3.1 miles from the trailhead crest the ridgeline for Skyscraper Pass, where Mount Rainier looks so close you could touch it. Descend from Skyscraper Pass into the trees and at 4.4 miles reach Granite Creek wilderness camp. Flat spots to rest, water to filter and a backcountry latrine are all here if you need them.

At 6.9 miles, find some peek-a-boo views of the Winthrop Glacier, then cross rocky slopes of glacial deposits, following rock cairns through the area. The results of the floods of 2006 make dead trees look like a porcupine’s back on the hillsides. After that, begin climbing out of the valley on the other side with a gentle grade, which steepens through forest as you get closer to Mystic Camp.

Arrive at a junction for the Mystic group campsite first, but continue climbing to the Mystic wilderness camp. Drop your pack and select a campsite. The camp’s water source is located to the right (north) all the way through the camp trail; the backcountry privy is located to the left behind the bear pole. To reach Mystic Lake, continue on the Wonderland Trail about a half mile from the camp. A patrol cabin with a great view from the porch is situated here and usually has a ranger stationed in the summer months. When looking for the cabin, stay to the right on the
cabin trail.

At the lake, enjoy the views of Mineral Mountain to the South and the crumbling shoulders of Old Desolate to the north. Please refrain from sitting or walking on foliage near the lakes edge as the park service has worked very hard on recovery in those fragile areas. The surrounding meadows are full of wildflowers and butterflies in season.

WTA Pro Tip: For exploring opportunities, head northwest towards Moraine Park and enjoy the meadows and marmots. Keep a close eye out for bears, as they love this area as much as you will.


Sunrise to Mystic Lake

Map & Directions

Co-ordinates: 46.9139, -121.6423 Open map in new window


Mount Rainier Area -- NW - Carbon River/Mowich

Mystic Lake (#)

Mount Rainier National Park

See weather forecast

Guidebooks & Maps

Day Hiking: Mt. Rainier National Park Trails (Nelson & Bauer - Mountaineers Books)

Green Trails 269S Wonderland Trail

Getting There

From Enumclaw, take State Route 410 approximately 43 miles to the White Canyon/White River Entrance to Mount Rainier National Park. Enter the park and follow the Sunrise Road for 17 miles to its end at the visitors center and large parking area.

Parking Pass/Entry Fee

National Park Pass
Road Closed 11.9.21: The highway to this trailhead is closed for the winter season. It will reopen in the spring when the snow can be cleared.

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Sunrise to Mystic Lake

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