Mt Rainier National Park
10.5 miles, roundtrip
(This is from what we recorded on a Garmin Fenix 6x)
Gain: 2800 ft.
Highest Point: 5379 ft.
You have multiple options to access Owyhigh Lakes, via the Sunrise Road (7.5 miles roundtrip) or State Rout 123 (10.2 miles roundtrip). We somehow missed the Sunrise side of the trail and luckily found the SR 123 trailhead.
If you are looking for hikes with excellent wildflowers, Mt Rainier National Park does not disappoint. We ended up at Owyhigh Lakes very late in the season and could see the remnants of beautiful wildflowers.
The lakes themselves aren't anything special compared to some of the unique alpine lakes in this state, but there is a lot of visual stimulation along the trail to keep you entertained.
You can choose which trailhead to start from. Remember that the State Route 123 trail is longer by a few miles, which is the route we took. Park along the road and you'll see a sign for the trail.
The trail begins by descending down towards Deer Creek. There are quite a few pretty little waterfalls along this creek, and the water is crystal clear, making it an easy water source to filter.
After about 0.5 miles, the trail starts to gradually climb. This gradual climb continues for the remainder of the hike until you reach the lakes.
Getting to the Lakes
About 1.5 miles before the lakes, the trees start to thin and you will pop out into some meadows. This is where the wildflowers can really shine. Also be cautious as there could be bears lurking around when the huckleberries are ripe.
There are a couple turnoffs that will take you to nearby mountain peaks, but continue on the main path.
Eventually the path opens up and the views of the lake come into site. If you are hiking on a clear day, you'll have nice views of the surrounding peaks towering over the lakes.
Click on images below to see a bigger picture
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Practicing LNT Principles, and Giving Back
We really want to encourage everyone to practice LNT principles when they explore these beautiful places. We spent years trying to minimize social impact on these locations, but the cat is out of the bag and these places are easy to find online. So it is our mission to share more about ways to keep these places as pristine as possible.
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