“A fun downhill hike with views of Mt. Rainier. You can either ride the gondola up or hike to the start!”
— Ben Stephens
Birding · Lake · Swimming · Views · Wildflowers · Wildlife
Eat dessert first! This downhill arc starts at the high point of Crystal Mountain with views of Rainier and the White River awaiting at the start after your gondola ride up. It then follows the ridgeline north and descends via sandy singletrack into soft forest trails and eventually back up the valley to the Crystal Mountain parking lot. You can get to the start of this hike via gondola or by hiking south on a complementary uphill hike.
Need to Know
Full service bathrooms are open to the public in the Crystal Mountain Resort complex by the main parking lot. See the Crystal Mountain Resort website
for gondola ticket prices and hours. There is also a restaurant at the top.
This hike starts at the scenic top of Crystal Mountain Resort, which is served by a gondola ride. Alternatively, one can hike up to the starting point via the Silver Creek Trail and Crystal Mountain Trails.
Although a few sections are rocky, the majority of this hike is on fine, sandy singletrack, largely following the Northway Trail
. The last mile of downhill is almost too much of a good thing: soft pine needles cushion a trail weaving down through thick forest. It is easy to pick up the pace if you want to! Rocks and roots are infrequent in this section.
The last segment follows a forest road to the Power Line Trail
which connects back to the parking lots and gondola station.