Mount Rainier Area
Type of HikeDay hike
Trail ConditionsTrail in good condition
RoadRoad suitable for all vehicles
BugsBugs were not too bad
This was a one-way "through hike". We left our vehicle at the Crystal Mountain parking lot and got a ride to the Chinook Pass parking lot and got on the PCT heading northeast above Hwy 410 for a ways for a slight gain. We began to move away from the highway going a bit east into the forest and in two miles arrived at east side of Sheep Lake and stopped to take in the view. After the lake we began gaining elevation again working our way up the rock ridge to our left. We reached Sourdough Gap at 3.2 miles and dropped down about a hundred feet to PCT signed junction. From here we took a short side trail that took us over the ridge and on a trail above Upper Crystal Lake with a view of Rainier. This short jaunt off the PCT is well worth the effort as it is the only place with a full view of Mount Rainier and you get a lake thrown in as a bonus! Returning to the PCT we continued on the trail to a point above Pacer Lake for lunch. at about 5 miles. From there it was a bit over a mile to the junction at Bear Gap. We took the Silver Creek Trail No. 1192 and began a steep 2.2 mile descent back to the Crystal Mountain ski resort parking lot. Including a couple short side trips for views we had a total of 8.9 miles. Except for the area around Sheep Lake where there is camping, we saw few hikers on the trail. There were a few through hikers on the PCT but we met no one on the Sliver Creek trail. This is a great hike for views of lakes (Sheep, Upper Crystal, Placer) and views of Mount Adams and Rainier. About a mile before Crystal Mountain on the Silver Creek trail we stopped to look at an abandoned mine and a stream. Some of the berry bushes are beginning to turn and the rock formations that form the ridge to the west are stunning.