Splendid vistas and a manageable distance make this an accessible and memorable experience.
The trailhead is located on the south side of the Sunrise parking area. Take the Sunrise Rim
trail south and then west (right) from the parking lot, soaking in the stupendous views as you go. At a junction with Wonderland Trail
, keep right to follow Wonderland to the west.
then turns southward and passes Shadow Lake on a level grade. Just past the lake, look for a junction with Burroughs Mountain Trail
and keep left to take it. Burroughs Mountain Trail
climbs sharply to an overlook on the White River and Emmons Glacier. Beyond the overlook, the route continues up and onto the wide, flat plateau of First Burroughs Mountain, reaching a junction with the North Burroughs Mountain trail to Frozen Lake in 1.5 miles.
From that junction, follow the trail to the west for roughly 0.7 miles to the summit of Burroughs Mountain. The mountain views from any point on this trail are superb and Burroughs Mountain offers possibly the finest, most assessable tundra in the Cascades.
Although there is no camp on Burroughs Mountain, Sunrise Camp lies along the way, approximately one mile from the parking area. It is popular with families who wish to travel only a short distance before making camp.
Lush meadows, part of the subalpine parkland, ring Mount Rainier at elevations from 5,000 feet to about 7,000 feet (approx. 1500-2100 meters). The meadows are a favorite spectacle for park visitors, who flock to the mountain to see the elaborate wildflower displays blooming in the meadows. The subalpine meadows can be cloaked in snow well into the month of June if not later, driving the wildflowers to bloom aggressively in order to take advantage of the short growing season. The short season also affects the type of plant communities found in the meadows.
The peak on Mount Rainier's northeast slope honors naturalist and essayist John Burroughs.