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Naches Peak Loop Trail - Mt. Rainier

Naches Peak Trail - Mt. Rainier

Our anniversary is in early September. We try to go every year to Sunrise at Mt. Rainier for a late afternoon hike. We take along a picnic and have dinner while watching the sun set. The idea came from a co-worker who told me that she would drive up to Chinook Pass after work with her husband and have a picnic. I loved the idea. We are not always able to make it but we have a couple of times including last year. It was rainy on Labor Day weekend so we waited another week.

I did not want to do a very strenous hike so we decided to do the loop around Naches Peak. We like to start along the Pacific Crest Trail at Chinook Pass and loops around the peak. It is an easy hike just over 3 miles long.

It starts out with wide expansive views east before swinging west. Dewey Lakes appear in the distance and and the PCT trail turns south. The loop trail continues straight west coming to a beautiful little tarn lake with views of Mt. Rainier. The meadows are starting to yellow and the blueberry bushes are turning red. The ash is still green but accented with brilliant red berries.

The vistas continue as your travel west with views of Mt. Rainier and Cayuse Pass to the south before the trail swings north and enters the forest. Soon you arrive back at Highway 410 and Tipsoo Lakes. It is about 1/2 mile back up to the pass where we left our car. G was a sweetheart and hiked back to the car while I waited.

We decided to have our picnic along the lake. The weather was gorgeous and everyone had taken advantage of what could be the last good weekend in summer. It was crowded and the road was noisy from the Harleys out for a Sunday ride. But the food was good and the crowds soon disappeared. After our picnic, we drove up to Sunrise and watched the final rays of sun before heading back.

Naches Peak Trail - Mt. Rainier
Along the Naches Trail south of Chinook Pass

Naches Peak Trail - Mt. Rainier
Some friendly hikers we met along the trail

Naches Peak Trail - Mt. Rainier

Naches Peak Trail - Mt. Rainier
Seed pods of Anemone occidentalis

Naches Peak Trail - Mt. Rainier
Dewey Lakes

Naches Peak Trail - Mt. Rainier
Blue vista

Naches Peak Trail - Mt. Rainier
Fall color along the Naches Loop Trail

Anniversary Dinner at Tipsoo Lake
Dinner and Prosecco

Anniversay Photo

Related - Burroughs Mountain 2008

Comments (9)

Loved your pictures. They really made me miss the Pacific Northwest. I have spent the last 5 summers (not counting the one you just had) in Oregon with my parents. We also miss having real mountains to hike-even some of the biggest peaks here in Australia seem like little hills to us.

Happy Anniversary! Beautiful photos! Sounds like you enjoyed a wonderful day and had a great dinner.

Kathy (Trekcapri):

Hi Marta, happy belated Anniversary. What a wonderful tradition to follow. Your photos are really beautiful. Mt. Rainer in that first photo looks fabulous. Great photos especially the last one!

Thank you so much for sharing information and photos of this very beautiful trail.

Happy anniversary! Your photos are so gorgeous. How cool to meet some llamas on the trail.

Barb Cabot:

Marta, Happy Happy Anniversary. This is a wonderful way for you two to celebrate...so YOU and so wonderful. The photos at least some of them remind me of Switzerland. What also came to mind was the Now and Then photos you posted of you and your husband. There's something so meaningful and sweet about this kind of longevity in a relationship...truly a nice friendship and beyond that you both share. Again Happy Anniversary.

Terry (teaberry):

Marta, add my wishes for a happy anniversary! Your photos are amazing. What a beautiful part of the world.

Happy belated anniversary! Your photos are gorgeous. Sounds like you had wonderful hike and a nice celebratory picnic.


This is one of my favorite hikes! Next weekend is our yearly attempt to do it an night, near the full moon. If the weather is clear, the full moon is like a monstrous flashlight shining on Mt Rainier! It's a sight unequaled.

Teri - That sounds wonderful.

We have done it during a full moon before also. It is so exposed especially on the east side - it makes it very easy to hike via moon light. Plus the harvest moon is gorgeous as it rises to the east.

We also did this hike when there was a full eclipse of the moon which makes it very special.

I'm glad you reminded me of doing it in the moonlight. Have a great hike.

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