This snowshoe route follows a forest road, with a brief stint on the forested summer trail near the top, to a lookout building near Mount Rainier.
Start from the Sun Top Sno-Park, then walk a short way up Forest Road 73, arriving at a fork in the road. Turn left onto Forest Road 7315 and get ready for a long road walk (don't worry — you'll get some forest trail time near the top)!
The road ascends gently in swooping turns before contouring below the east side of Sun Top. There are a couple of places where Forest Road 7315 hits the summer trail. There is one junction at around 4.8 miles up the road, and another just 0.1 miles further up right next to the upper gate near the lookout.
At this second junction (4.9 miles from the trailhead), turn left to take the trail through the woods — although you may be tempted to continue hiking on the road instead, there is significant avalanche danger on exposed portions of the road here and the trail is far safer.
Continue along the trail for about 0.3 miles. At that point, you'll be close enough to the forest road again to hop back on it — this is a good idea as, at this point, the road will have less avalanche risk than the trail for that last little bit to the lookout.
This is a road that is popular with skiers, so follow proper trail etiquette and share the trail.
Note: Please be aware that there is avalanche danger in places along the road/trail — read the description carefully to stay on the safe route. Those who are planning to reach the lookout should be prepared with avalanche gear and training.