Ask Me: What Are Your Favorite Hikes at Mount Rainier and North Cascades National Parks?


I just discovered your site, really enjoying it. Great book, I bought it from a small bookshop in Lincoln, N.H., called the Mountain Wanderer. We are on are way out to the Pacific NW for a week. We are looking for some ideas on dayhikes and one-night backpacks in the North Cascades and some dayhikes in Mount Rainier National Park.

Look forward to your stories in Backpacker. Thanks in advance for your help.

Fred and Linda
Tewksbury, MA

[Via Facebook message at]

Hi Fred and Linda,

First of all, thanks for buying and reading my book. I know The Mountain Wanderer bookstore and its owner. I also know the Whites very well (as I wrote about in this post).

In Mount Rainier National Park, my favorite dayhikes are:

•    The Skyline Trail loop above Paradise.
•    The Rampart Ridge Trail from Christina Falls (between Longmire and Paradise) to Van Trump Park and Mildred Point and back.
•    The steep, little-traveled, but really cool Eagle Peak Trail from Longmire up to Eagle Peak at the west end of the Tatoosh Range.
•    The short, easy walk among the big trees at Grove of the Patriarchs (southeast corner of the park).
•    From Sunrise, hike the Wonderland Trail out to the wildflower meadows above Berkeley Park, then backtrack and loop over Burroughs Mountain and back to Sunrise via the Glacier Basin Trail.
•    If you have time, drive to Mowich Lake and dayhike out and back to Spray Park.

It’s probably too late for wildflowers, which you’d see in abundance on all of these hikes in late July and August, but they all have killer views.


Hi, I’m Michael Lanza, creator of The Big Outside, which has made several top outdoors blog lists. Click here to sign up for my FREE email newsletter, or enter your email address in the box in the left sidebar or at the bottom of this story. Click here to get full access to all of my blog’s stories. Follow my adventures on Facebook, TwitterInstagram, and Youtube.


The North Cascades is one of my favorite mountain ranges. In case you haven’t seen this post, check it out for some dayhiking ideas.

Maple Pass Loop, North Cascades N.P.
Maple Pass Loop, North Cascades N.P.

For an overnight hike, consider spending a night on the Heather-Maple Pass loop if the weather’s good (it’s exposed up there). Or stay in the backcountry camp just below Hannegan Pass and hike up Hannegan Peak and partway out Copper Ridge and back.

See menus of all of my stories about Mount Rainier National Park and about the North Cascades.

Enjoy, let me know how it goes.



I can help you plan the best backpacking, hiking, or family adventure of your life.

Got a question about hiking, backpacking, planning a family adventure, or any trip I’ve written about at The Big Outside? Email it to me at For just $75, I’ll answer your questions via email or in a phone call to help ensure your trip is a success. See my Ask Me page.

—Michael Lanza


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3 thoughts on “Ask Me: What Are Your Favorite Hikes at Mount Rainier and North Cascades National Parks?”

  1. Mt Rainier has been named my new favorite mountain after visiting in mid-September, the colors were magical and the crisp fall air was so refreshing.

    We were told a bear was spotted that afternoon on another trail, however we didn’t see any. You may see Marmots soaking in the sun along the way, we saw a ton!


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