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Camp Muir

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The route to Camp Muir gives hearty hikers a small taste of what alpine climbers experience. The trail stretches high up the flank of Rainier, toward the upper mountain where alpine climbers play. This route isn't for everyone since it does entail substantial snow travel and may require good routefinding skills. But on a clear summer day, hikers in excellent physical condition might consider this most strenuous trek into the world of rock and ice.

Pick a path and head north from the parking lot. It doesn't matter which route you take--keep moving upward, and all trails eventually merge. At 1.5 miles, you pass the viewpoint at Glacier Vista, and 0.3 mile beyond that, you come to a trail fork. To the right is the Panorama Point Trail. Go left to continue your steep climb. In about 0.25 mile, the trail moderates a bit as it moves up through the rocky slopes above Panorama Point.

At 2.5 miles, the trail crosses a shallow ford of Pebble Creek and then fades away. From this point forward, the trail is merely a boot track through the snows of the Muir Snowfield. For 2.5 miles, you climb along the face of the snowfield, reaching the rocky spine that houses Camp Muir at 10,000 feet. A couple of rock shelters reside here--one is used as a communal bunkhouse, the other is assigned to the licensed climbing guide service.

Turn around here (if not before), making sure you have plenty of time and energy in reserve for the return trek. Use caution descending the snowfield.
Driving Directions:

From Tacoma, drive east on State Route 7 to Elbe, then veer left onto SR 706 to enter the park at the Nisqually Entrance near Ashford. Continue east along the Nisqually Road to the Paradise Lodge parking area. Park in the large parking lot and find the trail near the climbers hut on the north side of the parking lot.

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Recent Trip Reports

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There are 169 trip reports for this hike. See all trip reports for this hike.
Camp Muir — Oct 26, 2013 — YoshiSan
Day hike
Issues: Snow on trail
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With the City encased in fog, it meant I had to go to the mountain to see the Sun. Arriving at Par...
With the City encased in fog, it meant I had to go to the mountain to see the Sun.
Arriving at Paradise just as the Sun came up, I headed up the trail to Camp Muir. It was a hard, strenuous hike, but the reward was the view from the top. I was joined by many others on the trail, several of them with skies wanting to enjoy the crusty snow that's on the mountain this time of year.
Used plenty of sunscreen, microspikes and my hiking poles, I took my time on this climb.
The sky was a beautiful blue and both Mount Adams and Mount St. Helens were easily seen in the clear sky.
Loved this hike and will definitely do it again next year.
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Camp Muir — Oct 24, 2013 — Leaf Eater
Day hike
Features: Fall foliage
Issues: Water on trail | Snow on trail
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So i decided to play hooky from work and climb to Camp Muir.. I'm just trying to enjoy these fleetin...
So i decided to play hooky from work and climb to Camp Muir.. I'm just trying to enjoy these fleeting sunny warm mountain days, so can you blame me?

I started at 9am, the trail was 1/2 snow 1/2 dry to pebble creek. whereas i started at 9am the snow was still hard and crunchy so it was easy to walk on and post-holing was not an issue. I hiked up the rocks of Little Africa most of the way. I made Camp Muir by noon and it was nice! 50's in the sun, a bit chilly with the breeze though. But sunny and endless views of the tatoosh range, Adams, Mt St Helens, goat rocks and I could even make out Mt Hood.

I started down around 2pm the snow had soften a bit but was still easy walking, post-holing was not an issue while on the Muir snowfield. I did however post hole a couple times when I got below pebble creek.

all in all, a great day to hike, I hope this weather holds out!
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Camp Muir — Oct 19, 2013 — Pam and Paul Kaperick
Day hike
Issues: Snow on trail
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We hit the trail at a little after 8 and were quickly dodging icy sections on the asphalt trail lead...
We hit the trail at a little after 8 and were quickly dodging icy sections on the asphalt trail leading out of Paradise. Two of our group of four hit the ground on the ice. Once we got to full snow it was a nice walking, crunchy snow that didn't require even microspikes. There was a very slick spot just where the switchbacks begin by Panorama Point, but by the time we reached the snowfield we were in full sun and the snow was becoming more juicy. We had a thing to be at later and turned around at about 9080 ft, but 2 of our group continued up.
The descent was harder than usual because the snow was no good for glissading and the lower half of the trail was broken up juicy snow past my knees for most of the way.
More pics and story here. http://hikemindedpeople.blo[…]nowfield-and-bluegrass.html
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Camp Muir — Sep 14, 2013 — SanGaek
Day hike
Issues: Snow on trail
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My friend and I met early in the morning, and we just decided to go up to Camp Muir right then. T...
My friend and I met early in the morning, and we just decided to go up to Camp Muir right then.

This is my second time to Camp Muir, and I have to say, it was no easier.

Started having headaches at 9000 ft. Very slush and slippery ice at 9200 ft. And for some reason, every step gets harder once you get a glimpse of Camp Muir (the last half mile).

The place was crowded and noisy as usual. Fell several times on the way down. It took 7 hours total from the TH.

Anyway, another memorable trek to Camp Muir.
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Camp Muir — Aug 31, 2013 — MicheleB
Day hike
Features: Wildflowers blooming
Issues: Snow on trail
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Hi all! Did Muir Labor Day wknd - Sat with Trailside group. First time! Beautiful day and grt hik...
Hi all! Did Muir Labor Day wknd - Sat with Trailside group. First time! Beautiful day and grt hike to accomplish. A couple tips: it's a super long day so be extra sure to take more water. I recommend microspikes, but many went up without. Have good grips. I strongly reco taking a garbage bag to glissade down. I tried just using my Gore Tex pants and that didn't work at all. Be careful as you can get up some speed and I ended up sitting only on half the bag to slow me down. If the weather turns icky, just turn around and don't think twice. Strong sunglasses or glacier glasses reco'd. About half the hike is on glacier and it was slippery as well as steep. There is an outhouse at the top, but it is smelly and windy and cold (in the upper 30's - gloves/hat/hood etc) so I did not linger up there. It took me 6 hrs to get up and I would call a slow, relaxed but steady pace. I hike once or twice a weekend and I am normally slow, but strong and good stamina. Build in picture time. Others in our group had no problem going up in 5 or so hrs. The way down is a blast glissading and took about 4 hrs. Overall, definitely worth doing, but not worth pushing. Our cars got split up with fast/slow so we made a plan to swap keys (had an extra key) so the faster group could swap gear in cars when they got down and take off and leave the spare key inside. This is a hike that you'll see paces more distinguishable since it is so long and strenuous so just an idea.
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camp muir ralph and vicki.jpg
Location
Mt. Rainier -- SE - Longmire / Paradise
Longmire Wilderness Information Center
Statistics
Roundtrip 10.0 miles
Elevation Gain 4600 ft
Highest Point 10000 ft
Features
Rivers
Mountain views
Guidebooks & Maps
Day Hiking: Mt. Rainier National Park Trails (Nelson & Bauer - Mountaineers Books)
Green Trails Paradise
No. 270S

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Note: the description and driving directions for this Mountaineers Books entry are copyrighted and can't be changed.

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