Hiking Project Logo

Skyline Trail

Intermediate
  4.8 ( 85 ) Favorite

Trail

5.3 mile 8.6 kilometer loop
Intermediate

Elevation

Ascent: 1,493' 455 m
Descent: -1,485' -453 m
High: 6,765' 2,062 m
Low: 5,451' 1,661 m

Grade

Avg Grade: 11% (6°)
Max Grade: 38% (21°)

Dogs

No Dogs
Driving directions Take a virtual tour
Zoom in to see details
Map Key

A popular and easily accessible route, skirting the slopes of Mount Rainier and Paradise Glacier.

Tom Robson

Features Birding · River/Creek · Views · Wildflowers · Wildlife

The park has closed Skyline Trail at the intersection that meets Upper Skyline due to slippery conditions. One has to take Upper Skyline to complete the loop. The park will re-evaluate the closure in the spring.

Check current trail conditions before starting this route. Early season trail use may be hazardous.

Overview

This route starts and ends at the Paradise Jackson Visitor Center, and is one of the more popular routes in the Paradise area.

As one might expect, the closer Skyline brings you to Mount Rainier, the better the views become. Especially if you're interested in getting up close and personal with Paradise Glacier.

Need to Know

Several sections of the park are designated as day use only. These areas have been closed to overnight camping due to previous resource damage caused by concentrations of people in areas too fragile to sustain such use. Paradise is a day use only area. Please stay only on the constructed trails and help minimize impact on this delicate environment. Current trail conditions are available park-wide from wilderness information centers, ranger stations, and visitor centers.

Rest on benches or rocks. Please do not sit or hike on delicate subalpine plants.

Treat water before drinking. Fires are prohibited. No pets on trails.

Description

The trailhead is located near the entrance to the Jackson Visitor Center at Paradise, marked by stone steps inscribed with a quote by John Muir.

Hiking the loop clockwise, the trail climbs 2 miles until reaching Panorama Point, where a toilet is provided for trail users. Past Panorama Point the trail begins its one mile descent to the junction with the Golden Gate Trail. Another 0.75 mile and the Skyline Trail reaches the Stevens-Van Trump Memorial and its junction with the Paradise Glacier Trail. From there it descends into the Paradise Valley, then climbs slightly to Myrtle Falls and finally back to Paradise.

For a shorter version of this loop, take the Golden Gate Trail back to Paradise.

Flora & Fauna

The trail offers stunning displays of subalpine wildflowers, a close-up look at Mount Rainier and the Nisqually Glacier, and, on a clear day, views of peaks as far south as Oregon's Mount Hood.

Hiked this trail?

We need help with the following missing trail information:

Family Friendly, ADA Accessible, History & Background

Contacts

Rate This Featured Hike

Rate Quality


   Clear Rating

Rate Difficulty

Share This Hike

Check In

Check-Ins

Oct 12, 2019
Shelley Hansell
Oct 12, 2019
Samo Beroe
5.3mi — 12h 00m
Sep 30, 2019
Caro TM
Sep 21, 2019
Lauren Milner
Sep 12, 2019
Cody Hendrix
Amazing tail. Worth it for the views 5.5mi — 6h 00m
Sep 12, 2019
Cody Hendrix
Worth every mile. Be sure to do it counter clockwise
Sep 5, 2019
Luke Sandstrom
5.3mi
Sep 4, 2019
J Cham

Trail Ratings

  4.8 from 85 votes

#1

in Paradise

#26

Overall
  4.8 from 85 votes
5 Star
81%
4 Star
19%
3 Star
0%
2 Star
0%
1 Star
0%
Featured Hike Rankings

#1

in Paradise

#1

in Washington

#26

Overall
340 Views Last Month
9,676 Since Mar 5, 2015
Intermediate

0%
13%
53%
31%
4%
0%

Photos

Mt. Rainier towards the beginning of the Skyline Trail.
Feb 6, 2016 near Eatonville, WA
The mountain looming in the background after a switchback on Skyline Trail.
Dec 16, 2015 near Eatonville, WA
Mt. Rainier
May 13, 2015 near Eatonville, WA
A beautiful cascade coming off of Skyline.
Jul 23, 2015 near Eatonville, WA
Winter camping just outside Paradise on the Skyline Trail.
Dec 16, 2015 near Eatonville, WA
Photos just don't do this massive mountain justice!
Jun 27, 2016 near Eatonville, WA

Hiking Project is part of the REI Co-op family,
where a life outdoors is a life well lived.

Shop REI Hiking