This popular hike provides a range of alpine experiences in a short loop. Walk along a hillside above a small valley, pause at a viewpoint overlooking a lake, and stroll through grassy meadows with stunning views of Mount Rainier. In season enjoy an abundance of wildflowers or perhaps a handful of huckleberries.
The hike follows the Pacific Crest Trail on the northern flank of Naches Peak and the Naches Peak Trail on the southern flank. The loop is best done clockwise for outstanding views of Mount Rainier.
This hike begins at Tipsoo Lake and then traverses a steep hillside on the northern flank of Naches Peak. As you climb a gentle slope, you will look down on a small lush valley that is a wildflower heaven. In late July and early August you may be treated to a flower festival including blue lupine, white bistort, and magenta paintbrush. Along the way you will pass an unnamed lakelet where you may be tempted to take off your boots and go wading.
As the loop wraps around the east side of Naches Peak, the trail comes to a viewpoint with Dewey Lake over 600 feet below. The smooth rock bench here makes an excellent place to eat lunch or take a break. This is a popular place, however, so be prepared to share the experience with others.
Just after the Dewey Lake viewpoint, the Pacific Crest Trail comes to a junction with the Naches Peak Loop trail. Go right and follow the trail along the southern side of Naches Peak,where you will cross alpine meadows with stunning views of Mount Rainier. This is an exceptionally picturesque area, and it is easy to get fantastic photos here. Many people feel this is the highlight of the loop. Follow this trail back to the Tipsoo Lake parking lot to complete your loop.
Note on dogs: Part of this trail is on National Forest land and part in the National Park. Mount Rainier does not allow dogs, so if you do have your four-legged hiking companion with you, please consult a map and note where your canine friend is able to hike, and where they'll have to stay behind. You can also find other locations in the Mount Rainier Area that are dog friendly by consulting our Hiking Guide.