Tolmie Peak is a popular destination for hikers in the Washington area. Located in the Cascade Range, the peak offers stunning views of the surrounding mountains and valleys. Hiking to Tolmie Peak and Eunice Lake is not easy, but the payoff is well-worth the effort.
The trail offers stunning and often hard-to-believe views of Mount Rainier as well as the surrounding wilderness. Plus, at the end of the trail, you'll end up at the Tolmie Peak Fire Lookout.
Tolmie Peak is a scenic summit located within the Mount Rainier National Park in Washington. The peak is one of the best hikes in the state and offers stunning views of Mount Rainier, surrounding valleys, and distant peaks. The trailhead for the Tolmie Peak hike is located just north of the Nisqually Entrance Station off Highway 706.
Tolmie Peak: At a Glance
When to Go: June to September
How Hard is It? It's a moderate trail that will not pose any difficulty to fit hikers.
Trailhead Elevation: 5,100 feet
Tolmie Peak Elevation: 5,900 feet
Hike Time: 3-4 hours
Hike Type: Out and back
Permits and Fees
Tolmie Peak is located within Mount Rainier National Park. This means to get to the trailhead, you'll need a National Park Pass. You can pay for this pass yearly or daily. It's quite expensive, costing you $30 a day or $80 annually.
Tolmie Peak Trailhead
The trail to Tolmie Peak starts at the Mowich Campground. The campground is a poplar place for hikers to stay the evening before they set off up to the summit of Tolmie Peak or while spending a longer period of time exploring the wilderness around Mount Rainier. Take a look at this map to the Tolmie Peak trailhead to start your adventure:
The Tolmie Peak Trail
This trail is a 7.5-mile round trip trek with an elevation gain of 1,100 feet. The peak is very hard to access in the winter due to closures on Mowich lake Road. Make sure to plan accordingly, as weather at Tolmie Peak can change rapidly, particularly in spring and fall.
The trail starts at the Mowich Campground. You'll leave the parking area and walk around the west side of Mowich Lake, a scenic nearby body of water that's a popular part of the campground. It's surrounded by wildflowers and is the deepest lake in Mount Rainier National Park. You can also fish there!
From the lake, you'll gain small amounts of elevation for the next two miles. The grade steepens as you go uphill and to Ipsut Pass (the two-mile point). The pass is best-known as one of the many incredible viewpoints along the famous Wonderland Trail, the immense 93-mile trail that loops around Mount Rainier.
About 0.8 miles later, you'll find yourself at Eunice Lake, another beautiful lake in Mount Rainier National Park and often the stopping point for those who don't want to finish the hike to Tolmie Peak. The lake is rather buggy, but it's still beautiful and worth seeing.
The last uphill section is the steepest part. It takes you one mile to the summit of Tolmie Peak and incredible views of Rainier. You'll also be able to see Eunice Lake from above!
What to Bring
When hiking Tolmie Peak, it's important to be prepared. Here is a list of items you might want to bring on your Tolmie Peak hike:
-Hiking boots or shoes with good traction.
-A daypack filled with snacks, water, and lunch.
-A lightweight rain jacket in case of inclement weather.
-Sunscreen, hat, and sunglasses.
-A map of the Tolmie Peak Trail to stay on track.
-A first aid kit for any unexpected accidents or injuries.
-Trekking poles to help with balance and stability.
-Bug spray and bear spray if you plan to camp overnight.
-Layers of clothing that can be adjusted for varying temperatures throughout the day.
Camping in the Area
Tolmie Peak and Eunice Lake are closed for camping, so you'll have to pick one of several other nearby campgrounds if you want to spend the night in the area. Mowich Campground is the obvious choice as it's the home of the Tolmie Peak trailhead. But make sure to check out some of our other suggestions in case Mowich is full:
Evans Creek Campground
Carbon River Camp
Sunrise Walk-in Camp
Cougar Rock Campground
Tolmie Peak is located in the heart of the Cascade Range, so there are plenty of great hikes nearby that are also worth exploring. Here are a few you won't want to miss:
Spray Park Trail to Mount Pleasant
This trail is popular for its beautiful views of Mt. Rainier, as well as its well-maintained paths and moderate elevation gain. The trail should take you about 4 hours to complete and is only a few minutes from the Tolmie Peak trail.
Green Lake Trail
This very popular hiking route is perfect for those looking for a longer hike that's not too difficult. It gains around 1,400 feet in elevation over nine miles.
Old Mine Trail
A short, 1 hour hike in Mount Rainier National Park. It's only 3 mile along and allows you to explore the remnants of an old mine.
Chenuis Falls Trail
another longer trail, reaching almost 8 miles in length. It's fairly easy, though, gaining only 400 feet in elevation as you walk along a river basin.