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South Puyallup Trail

Mount Rainier Area


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


3.4 miles, roundtrip


Gain: 700 ft.
Highest Point: 4200 ft.


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WTA worked here: 2021

Known as the South Puyallup Trail, this access point to the Wonderland Trail is a connector 1.7 miles long that wends its way through a mature forest with trees ranging between 100 to 1000 years old. The variety of ecosystems make this hike an alluring one: visitors start in the lower elevations, surrounded by western redcedar, Douglas fir, yew and western hemlock. But as you climb, you'll see Pacific silver fir, western white pine, noble fir, and the rare Alaska yellow cedar.

Your route ascends alongside the South Puyallup River, where in 2006 it overran its banks and spilled into lower sections of the forest. It took until 2019 to get a reroute in place, when crews moved the trail up the hill and out of flooding danger. 

Crews installed puncheons, turnpikes, check steps, and bridges to keep the trail sustainable, and they add some variety to the trail underfoot as you wander through the forest. Where the trail gets close to the South Puyallup River head out to the rocky stream bed for lunch, watch the torrential glacier stream cascading down the mountain side, or gaze up at the largest peak in the Cascades. 


South Puyallup Trail

Map & Directions

Co-ordinates: 46.8065, -121.8909 Open map in new window


Mount Rainier Area -- SW - Longmire/Paradise

Mount Rainier National Park

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Guidebooks & Maps

Day Hike! Mount Rainier

4th Edition Paperback by Ron C. Judd

Best Easy Day Hikes Mount Rainier National Park (Best Easy Day Hikes Series) by Heidi Radlinski

Mary Skjelset

Mount Rainier National Park. 217. National Geographic. 2018

Buy the Green Trails Mt Rainier West No. 269 map

Getting There

From the Nisqually entrance of Mount Rainier National Park (off Highway 706), drive east on Nisqually-Longmire Road for one mile. The turnoff for the Westside Road is on your left. There is no designated parking area, so be sure to park in such a way that traffic can flow uninterrupted along the road. The official South Puyallup trailhead can be reached after about 3.5 miles of hiking along the decommissioned section of the Westside Road,


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South Puyallup Trail

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