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Swamp Lake

Mount Rainier Area > Chinook Pass - Hwy 410
46.8322, -121.3681 Map & Directions
Length
9.4 miles, roundtrip
Elevation Gain
1400 feet
Highest Point
5000 feet
Calculated Difficulty About Calculated Difficulty
Moderate/Hard
  • Dogs allowed on leash
  • Old growth
  • Lakes
  • Established campsites
  • Rivers

Despite its name, Swamp Lake is a lovely little destination in the William O. Douglas wilderness near Mount Rainier. It's popular with fishermen and backpackers, though it can be extremely buggy in early summer. Continue reading

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Hiking Swamp Lake

Despite its name, Swamp Lake is a lovely little destination in the William O. Douglas wilderness near Mount Rainier. It's popular with fishermen and backpackers, though it can be extremely buggy in early summer.

Beginning at the Swamp Lake Trailhead, set out on a relatively flat trail. Within half a mile, you'll need to cross the Bumping River, which can be dangerous during high water events, like spring melt or after a rainstorm.

About three-quarters of a mile from the trailhead, cross into the William O. Douglas wilderness and begin climbing slightly. Hike through second-growth forest towards a creek crossing, then the trail levels out a bit, before climbing a bit more. Cross the outlet stream of Swamp Lake at 3.5 miles from the trailhead. 

If you're camping here for the night, please remember to pitch your tent 100 feet back from the lakeshore. Swamp Lake is in a restoration area and the marshy land around the lakeshore provides habitat to animals living in the area.

While Swamp Lake is an excellent destination, the Swamp Lake Trail continues on, crossing the American Ridge Trail after climbing up a hillside for about 0.8 miles. At this intersection, hikers can turn left to visit Cougar Lake, or keep right to head for American Lake and, past that, an intersection with the Pacific Crest Trail.

WTA Pro Tip: It is possible to make this a longer overnight by starting your approach from the Bumping Lake trailhead. This allows you to walk along the Bumping Lake shoreline. This adds 3.85 miles one-way, but allows hikers to skip the ford of Bumping River.

WTA worked here in 2019, 2018, 2015 and 2012!

Hike Description Written by
Multiple authors contributed to this report, WTA Community

Swamp Lake

Map & Directions

Trailhead
Co-ordinates: 46.8322, -121.3681 Open in Google Maps

Before You Go

See weather forecast

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 the west, take Highway 410 east over Chinook Pass and 20 miles east of the pass turn right on the Bumping River Road/FS 1800 and follow for 18.3 miles to road end at the Swamp Lake trailhead.

From the east take Highway 410 west 26.4 miles from the intersection with Highway 12 and turn left on the Bumping River Road/FS 1800 and follow for 18.3 miles to road end at the Swamp Lake trailhead.

More Hike Details

Trailhead

Mount Rainier Area > Chinook Pass - Hwy 410

Swamp Lake (#970)

Okanogan-Wenatchee National Forest, Naches Ranger District

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Swamp Lake

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