“Gain one of the best Mount Rainier views on this very sun-exposed trail.”
— Tom Robson
Birding · River/Creek · Views · Wildflowers · Wildlife
Shriner Peak hosts one of the best Mt. Rainier views in the park - especially because it's situated in a less-frequented area. Although the solitude is nice, it does come at a price. This trail is incredibly steep and, due to a large wildfire, is almost entirely shadeless. Hopefully there's a breeze blowing!
Need to Know
Permits are required for camping. Permits and current trail conditions are available park-wide from wilderness information centers, ranger stations, and visitor centers. Fires are prohibited. No pets on trails. Treat water before drinking.
From State Route 123, head east up this very steep trail through the forest. Although this trail begins in the forest, it soon climbs into an old burn area that is open and shadeless. For 2.5 miles the trail continues its steep ascent to the top of the ridge. Still no shade, but a slight breeze sometimes makes the hike more bearable from here on. After a .5 mile walk along the ridge top, the route becomes a series of steep switchbacks for the final climb to the lookout.
Once on top of the ridge, hikers enjoy commanding views of Mount Rainier, the Ohanapecosh Valley and the Cascades. For hikers seeking solitude, this is a good trail choice - probably because it can be extremely hot on a sunny summer afternoon.
The camp at Shriner Peak is located near the lookout and offers an incomparable view of Mount Rainier at sunrise. Well worth the effort of waking early! A spring located about one mile back down the trail is the only source of water for this camp.
Flora & Fauna
Large-scale disturbances (fire, cyclonic winds, insects, avalanches, lahars) can remove established forest over hundreds of square miles, creating opportunities for other plant communities to thrive. The size and frequency of these disturbances varies greatly among ecosystems. Fire, although relatively infrequent in the park, is a large-scale disturbance reshaping the park's plant communities.