At 6,400 feet, Sunrise is the highest drivable point in Mt. Rainier National Park. Go for the wide expanse of endless alpine meadows, the numerous trailheads leading to adventure, the historic Sunrise Visitor Center, and the chance to witness mind-blowing views of the Mt. Rainier Summit. Sunrise is a full 1000 feet higher than Paradise, and offers the most panoramic views of Mt. Rainier. Tour buses generally avoid the drive up to Sunrise, so it offers the mystique of Mt. Rainier without the huge crowds.
There are also wonderful places to visit on the lower half of the Sunrise Road. Summerland, Owyhigh Lakes, Glacier Basin, Emmons Moraine – all are trails worth exploring.
Go for a walk
You could easily spend a week or more exploring the hikes from Sunrise. Click here for the Park’s map of Sunrise trails.
The Washington Trails Association is also a great source of hiking information, and members even post trip reports showing recent conditions. (Consider a donation or membership as their information helps all of us enjoy these trails.)
Silver Forest & Emmons Vista 2.4 mi RT Great for all ages. The Emmons Vista is the perfect spot for photos. Click here.
Sunrise Nature Trail 1.5 mi RT Self-guided loop with great views. Click here.
Sunrise Rim/Shadow Lake Loop 3.5 mi RT Good for all ages. Kids seem to do better when they have a destination, and the frogs at Shadow Lake will entertain them. Click here.
Sourdough Ridge Trail to Frozen Lake 3 mi RT Incredible views. Keep an eye out for white dots in the distance as these are often mountain goats. Click here.
Sourdough Ridge to Dege Peak 4.2 mi RT Incredible 360° views of all the Cascades from Dege Peak. (There’s a shorter way to hike to Dege Peak from the Sunrise Point parking lot.) Click here.
Emmons Moraine Trail (from White River Campground) 3 mi RT Great views of the Emmons Glacier, the largest glacier in the lower 48 states. Click here.
Sunrise Rim/Frozen Lake Loop 5.2 mi RT Gorgeous views and 2 lakes. Click here.
Burroughs Mountain Trails
First Burroughs 4.8 mi RT
Second Burroughs 6.0 mi RT
Third Burroughs 9.0 mi RT
Views, views and more views. If you’re willing to work, Third Burroughs makes you feel like you can reach out and touch the summit. Large snow field can make the way difficult until later in the summer. Click here.
Mt. Fremont Lookout 5.6 mi RT. An old fire lookout that’s fun to visit when a ranger is present, but great views any day. Click here.
Berkeley Park 7 mi RT Gorgeous waterfalls & wildflowers. Click here.
Summerland & Panhandle Gap 7 mi RT to Summerland; 12 mi RT to Panhandle Gap An amazing hike to meadows filled with wildflowers and marmots. Click here.
Glacier Basin 6.5 mi RT Glorious views of Mt. Rainier and the Emmons Glacier and a lush basin filled with early summer flowers. Click here.
Owyhigh Lakes from White River Road 8 mi RT No views of Mt. Rainier, but lots of wildlife, a gorgeous forest and beautiful lakes. Click here.
Crystal Lakes (from Highway 410) 6 mi RT A steep climb to 2 beautiful mountain lakes. Click here.
Walk with a Ranger
During summer months, rangers offer daily guided interpretive hikes from Sunrise, as well as Junior Ranger programs on weekends. There are also evening programs at the White River Campground on select evenings. Check the Park’s more recent Tahoma News for the schedule.
Learn more at a Visitors Center
The Sunrise Visitor Center is housed in a historic 1920’s building. Exhibits were updated a few years ago and they are a wonderful way to learn more about the Park. The Visitor Center is usually open from July 1 through late September.
The White River Wilderness Information Center at the Sunrise entrance usually opens around Memorial Day, and rangers there can provide maps and updated trail information.
Grab a Bite/Pick up a Souvenir
The Sunrise Day Lodge offers a cafeteria as well as a gift shop, and is open daily from July 1-September 5 for 2016, plus selected weekends in September. Click here.
When to Go
Cayuse Pass (Highway 410 to Highway 123) usually opens late April to early May and closes with the first heavy snowfall (usually late November).
Chinook Pass (Highway 410 to/from Eastern Washington) usually opens in mid-May and closes with the first heavy snowfall (usually late November).
The Sunrise Road to the White River Campground usually opens sometime in May and is usually open through Columbus Day (or later).
The Sunrise Road to the top of Sunrise usually opens in late June and is usually open through Columbus Day (or later).
Click here for Cayuse Pass and Chinook Pass information.
Click here for Mt. Rainier road status.