“A manageable out-and-back showcasing multiple lakes and panoramic views from atop Tolmie Peak.
— Brian Smith
Lake · River/Creek · Swimming · Views · Wildflowers · Wildlife
Eunice Lake and Tolmie Peak Lookout offer spectacular views of Mount Rainier and surrounding areas.
Need to Know
Take SR 165 to the Mowich Lake Road. After driving almost 17 miles on this rough and dusty gravel road, hikers are ready to find the trailhead! It is located on the south side of the lake.
To start this hike, take the Wonderland Trail
from the southern side of Mowich Lake. The trail will contour above Mowich Lake before switchbacking to gain the lake's northern ridge. From here, Wonderland Trail
descends lazily to a junction with Tolmie Peak Trail
at mile 1.4.
The Tolmie Peak Trail
contours around the mountain's southern flank below Lake Eunice before ascending steeply through a series of switchbacks. The trail ascends through gradually thinning coniferous forest. After about a half-mile, the trail levels out as it emerges at Lake Eunice. Take a few moments to enjoy the lake's pristine, picturesque waters as well as the craggy slopes above the lake. Some will choose to turn around here but the trail continues to the summit of Tolmie Peak.
The last mile from Eunice Lake to Tolmie Peak Lookout is steep but well worth the effort! Views of the lake below and Mt. Rainier to the south abound as you hike uphill. After a final switchback, the trail trends eastward and the grade lessens. At the summit, prepare to be awestricken by panoramic views of the pristine, lush surroundings.
Flora & Fauna
At the upper elevations of high elevation forests, trees become less dense as the forest transitions into subalpine parkland. Subalpine parkland covers approximately 23 percent of the park; vegetation in this zone is a mosaic of tree clumps and herbaceous meadows extending from forest line to tree line, or about 5,000 feet to about 7,000 feet (approx. 1500-2100 meters). Tree cover and the location of plant communities in this zone is limited by the depth and duration of the snowpack.
History & Background
In 1833, Dr. William Tolmie sailed from London to Fort Vancouver where he awaited assignment. After seeing "The Mountain," he was captivated and subsequently made a visit to collect "herbs of which to make medicine." Research now shows that Tolmie actually ascended Hessong Rock.