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Bullion Basin

Mount Rainier Area > Chinook Pass - Hwy 410
46.9378, -121.4746 Map & Directions
Length
4.6 miles, roundtrip
Elevation Gain
1900 feet
Highest Point
6300 feet
Calculated Difficulty About Calculated Difficulty
Moderate/Hard
A summer view along the Bullion Basin trail. Photo by Erik Morgenstern. Full-size image
  • Wildflowers/Meadows
  • Mountain views
  • Dogs allowed on leash
  • Fall foliage

Parking Pass/Entry Fee

Northwest Forest Pass

A relatively steep and rocky connector trail running between the Crystal Mountain resort area up through Bullion Basin to the Pacific Crest Trail with mountain and meadow views. Continue reading

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Hiking Bullion Basin

This is a relatively steep and rocky connector trail running between the Crystal Mountain resort area up through Bullion Basin to the Pacific Crest Trail with mountain and meadow views.

The Bullion Basin trail starts just east of the Crystal Mountain Chapel and climbs steeply up the meadow.  Follow the rocky jeep track for several hundred more yards until you hit an unmarked right (east) turn. Take that turn and continue to follow now brushy single track up the mountain. Cross the gravel Gold Hill Road once, then again (where the wide spot second parking option is located and where the Silver Creek Trail heads south to Henskin Lake. Make your way north-northeast up the hillside, following the trail as it eventually crosses a little bridge over an unnamed creek. 

Continue long switchbacks up the ridge until you come to the equestrian camp and a beautiful spring-fed pond area where Bullion Basin starts. There is a short cut trail running due east up to the Pacific Crest Trail from this point.  Head south past the horse camp and keep right directly after a creek crossing. Walk up through a narrow meadow again keeping right where the trail splits following the better maintained trail path. Walk through one more, larger meadow and then climb the final switchbacks to the main viewpoint. Views of the White River drainage to the northwest, Rainier due west over the Crystal ski runs and Mount Adams to the south are all quite good.  Continue past the view point southeast and climb one final hill up to the main junction with the PCT. 

For a longer, more strenuous, 7.7-mile loop, continue south on the Pacific Crest Trail past Crown Point, through Pickhandle Gap, past Pickhandle Point to Bear Gap where you can hang a tight right and drop down toward Henskin Lake and return to the Crystal Mountain resort area on the Silver Creek Trail.

WTA Pro Tip: Restrooms are available at the Crystal resort when open. The Crystal gift shop also offers some hiking supplies - handy if you forget your bug spray. Check the Crystal Mountain website for hours of operations, summer season dates and scheduled events that may bring larger crowds to the area. The nearest gas station is the Greenwater General Store 20 miles west on Highway 410.

Hike Description Written by
Erik Morgenstern, WTA Correspondent

Bullion Basin

Map & Directions

Trailhead
Co-ordinates: 46.9378, -121.4746 Open in Google Maps

Before You Go

See weather forecast

Parking Pass/Entry Fee

Northwest Forest Pass

WTA Pro Tip: Save a copy of our directions before you leave! App-based driving directions aren't always accurate and data connections may be unreliable as you drive to the trailhead.

Getting There

From either east or west bound Highway 410, 4.5 miles north of the turn to the Sunrise Visitor Center, turn east onto Crystal Mountain Blvd (NF 7166). Follow Crystal Mountain Blvd 6 more miles to the resort. The Bullion Basin Trail starts just to the east of the Chapel, south of the Silver Skis Chalet.

Parking is available in the main Crystal Mountain resort lot when not in ski season, (when you will need an Alpine Pass.) For folks with a vehicle capable of handling some gravel travel, a second option is available by backtracking north along Crystal Mountain Blvd approximately 1.9 miles and turning northeast onto a gravel one lane road, (Gold Hill Rd). Follow that back along the ridge above the resort. A wide shoulder with enough room for 4-5 vehicles is available after the second major switchback, (the Bullion Basin trail crosses Gold Hill Rd just south of this wide spot parking.)

Northwest Forest Pass required.

More Hike Details

Trailhead

Mount Rainier Area > Chinook Pass - Hwy 410

Bullion Basin (#1156)

Mt. Baker-Snoqualmie National Forest, Snoqualmie Ranger District

Guidebooks & Maps

Green Trails Mount Rainier No 269sx

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Bullion Basin

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