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Camp Muir

Difficult
  4.8 ( 20 ) Favorite

Trail

8.8 mile 14.1 kilometer loop
Difficult

Elevation

Ascent: 4,594' 1,400 m
Descent: -4,592' -1,400 m
High: 10,054' 3,064 m
Low: 5,460' 1,664 m

Grade

Avg Grade: 20% (11°)
Max Grade: 123% (51°)

Dogs

No Dogs
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Map Key

Trail shared by Chris Gossage

Beautiful mountain views that are well-worth the hard work.

Chris Gossage

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

Only experienced hikers and climbers should attempt this unmarked route.

Overview

Camp Muir is a classic single day destination, attracting thousands each year - and a popular base camp for climbers. Starting on the Skyline Trail, the nine-mile round-trip meanders innocently through wildflower meadows before climbing 2.2 miles and 2,800 vertical feet up the Muir Snowfield. Before you, Rainier looms; behind you, the Tatoosh Range displays its toothy peaks. All that scenery extracts more energy than most people expect, as the route gains a thigh-draining 4,600 feet.

Need to Know

Mistakes in navigation while traveling to or from Camp Muir during storms and white-outs have resulted in lost climbers and hikers and fatalities. Always beware of steep cliffs to the east of Camp Muir and Anvil Rock and to the east of McClure Rock. These cliffs, obscured by snow and cornices in the winter, have been the sites of mountaineering tragedies. Panorama Point is a dangerous avalanche area.

Camp Muir and the Muir Snowfield are nearly surrounded by glaciers: the Nisqually Glacier to the west, the Cowlitz Glacier to the north and east, and the Paradise Glacier to the south and east. A minor error in navigation may lead you onto these glaciers where there are numerous crevasses and other hazards. Stay on course.

While traversing the Muir Snowfield, approach rock islands with care because of holes which form around rocks as snow melts. Crevasses occasionally open up on the snowfield in the vicinity of Anvil Rock in late summer and may be hidden by snow.

Description

This will be a climb you'll not forget for many years, and to begin sounds easy. Start at the trailhead near the lodge and make your way on the easy paved Skyline trail heading for Panorama Point. Just before you reach that you'll pass Glacier Vista, a place to get some very nice views to the south. Continue past Panorama Point after you fuel up on a snack and you'll notice the crowd has dwindled as most hikers usually turn back here.

Once you reach McClure Rock, take a look up the hill at the path other hikers have taken and use it to keep you on course. The snowfield is wide and open giving awesome views on a clear day. It comes in handy if you have some type of altimeter to gauge your progress, but it is not a requirement. Depending on the conditions you can make this hike with regular footwear, but your should consider crampons, ice axe and plenty of food and clothes.

The weather has a way of changing without notice and people have died in June on the Muir Snowfield. Review the weather reports, respect the environment, be safe, and enjoy.

If you're looking to hike to Camp Muir with a guided group, check out the REI Classes & Events page.

History & Background

Camp Muir, originally known as Cloud Camp, was named Camp Muir after writer/naturalist John Muir summited the mountain. Muir was a member of the climbing party that made the sixth recorded ascent of the Mount Rainier in 1888. Camp Muir is one of the primary high camps for summit attempts and is a favorite campsite with climbers.

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Family Friendly, ADA Accessible, Flora & Fauna

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Check-Ins

Sep 1, 2019
Rahul Kulkarni
8h 00m
Jul 29, 2019
Lynn L
Absolutely stunning. Thank goodness for crampons, snow the entire way up that was sloshy in spots. 10mi
Jul 25, 2019
Sonia Boller
Jul 8, 2019
Sarah Marshall
9.3mi — 10h 46m
Jul 1, 2019
Li-Fu Lin
Jul 1, 2019
Ellie Sveum
Jun 29, 2019
Nathan Mueller
clear days are THE BEST 8.8mi
Jun 29, 2019
Cathy M.
We followed everyone else up through the snow after Pebble Creek and up the Muir Snowfield rather than following the trail o. this app which is les… 8.2mi — 6h 42m

Trail Ratings

  4.8 from 20 votes

#2

in Paradise

#306

Overall
  4.8 from 20 votes
5 Star
80%
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20%
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Featured Hike Rankings

#2

in Paradise

#27

in Washington

#306

Overall
86 Views Last Month
6,896 Since May 12, 2015
Difficult

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20%
53%
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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
Mount Rainier
Sep 11, 2019 near Greenwater, 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

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