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Trip Report

Glacier Basin, Emmons Moraine — Saturday, Aug. 23, 2014

Mount Rainier Area
Emmons Glacier (in foreground) from moraine w Little Tahoma Peak and Frying Pan Glacier in background
Another great hike on the Northeast side of Mt Rainier - I went up to Summerland and Panhandle Gap earlier in the week and just couldn't get enough of this beautiful area. So, Glacier Basin and Emmons Glacier View seemed like good candidates…and they were. Arrived at the White River Campground parking area fairly early Saturday morning and was on the trail to Glacier Basin by 7:45. This is a great trail with good views of Rainier, Little Tahoma Peak and Emmons Glacier. It also passes and crosses numerous pretty waterfalls and streams that tumble on down to the White River. The trail is in great shape and has been very well maintained. Wildflowers may have passed their peak but there were scattered nice patches of purple asters, Indian paintbrush, monkeyflowers and others adding color along the way. Arrived at Glacier Basin around 9:30, spent some time fiddling around in the meadows above the climbers' camp and took a few photos. Headed back down around 10. On the way back down, I took the Emmons Glacier View trail up along the moraine. This was an easy 3 mile RT and well worth the extra time and distance. Here, you have wonderful views of Emmons Glacier and the ice caving at its toe as well as views of Rainier, Little Tahoma Peak and Frying Pan Glacier. This is a great way to spend a fairly easy half or full day of hiking with great reward to effort ratios. Amazing views and very good, well-maintained trails. We are truly lucky to have this recreation resource. Was back at the parking lot just before 12:30. Total time for the hike to the meadows above Glacier Basin, the side trip up the Emmons Glacier View Trail, a couple of refreshment breaks and lots of photo stops…just under 5 hours. Total distance hiked - about 9 miles. As expected for a summer Saturday…although a lot of parking spaces were open on my arrival, the lot was full with a little overflow down the road below it . Two cars were ahead of me when I entered the park at the pay booth and 1/4 mile of traffic backed up when I left after noon.
Peaks above the meadows at Glacier Basin
Purple asters and Indian paintbrush
Toe of Emmons Glacier with caving ice