Crystal Lakes & Crystal Peak Day Hike

  • June 28, 2014 · 7:30 AM
  • This location is shown only to members

Let's hike the Crystal Lakes Trail to lower and upper Crystal Lakes.  From there, we’ll backtrack to the Crystal Peak Trail and hike to the summit of Crystal Peak, since both trails share the first 1.5 miles.  Crystal Peak, with an elevation of 6,595 feet, is #9 on the Mountaineers club list of list of Fifteen Hiking Peaks at Mount Rainier National Park.  You can log your ascents at Peakbagger.com.  On the way home, we may stop somewhere for ice cream or dinner.  I will need at least 3 people willing to drive.

Excerpt from “Day Hiking Mount Rainier,” by Dan A. Nelson

Hike #15 – Crystal Lakes. These beautiful lakes are nestled in a green bowl beneath high, craggy peaks.  You might encounter a few elk, maybe a mountain goat or two, and possibly even a black bear.  The latter is especially likely in late summer when the plethora of purple fruit--succulent huckleberries!--ripens up. That's all you'll find here.  If you need more natural beauty, you're out of luck.  You won't find many trails that offer wilderness like this.

Hike #16 – Crystal Peak. Grand views await you here, as Crystal Peak stands between the stunning spires of the Norse Peak Wilderness and the mighty summit of Mount Rainier's northeastern flank.  You might encounter elk; you'll surely see soaring hawks and/or eagles; and if you time it right, you'll be waist deep in huckleberries on the upper slopes of the peak.  If the berries aren't ripe yet, no worries--you'll find wildflowers in bloom along the way.

• Trailhead ETA: 9:15 am.             • Round Trip: 11 miles.

• Starting Elevation: 3,533 feet. • Ascent Elevation: 4,310 feet.

• High Point: 6,595 feet.               • Difficulty: Difficult.

• Pace: Slow/moderate.               • Hiking Time: 8.25 hours.

• Special Features: Established campsites, lakes, mountain views, old growth, summits, wildflowers/meadows, wildlife.

• Maps: Green Trails Mount Rainier East, No. 270.

GPS Coordinates:

• Crystal Lakes Trailhead: N46°55'22.2" W121°32'01.2"

• Upper Crystal Lake: N46°54'21.4" W121°30'24.5"

• Crystal Peak Summit: N46°54'22.4" W121°31'08.3"

What to Bring: Day pack with the 10 Essentials, appropriate hiking attire (no blue jeans, cotton clothing, or sneakers), plenty of water, lunch/energy snacks, sturdy/comfortable shoes + a bag for wet/soiled pairs, trekking poles, sun preventatives, bug repellent, and your camera!  Dress according to the forecast (layers!).

Contact: White River Wilderness Information Center, (360) 569-6670.

Permits/Regulations: $15 per vehicle for a 7-day entrance permit or $30 per vehicle for an annual pass.  Group size limited to twelve.  Fires prohibited.  Dogs prohibited.

Getting there: From Enumclaw, drive east 42 miles on State Route 410 to the trailhead parking lot on the right, just 4.5 miles after passing through the park's entryway arch.

Useful Links:

7-Day Weather Forecast

Crystal Lakes and Crystal Peak

WTA Hiking Guide and Trip Reports – Crystal Lakes

WTA Hiking Guide and Trip Reports – Crystal Peak

Robert's Cell: (253) 677-6992.

Disclaimer: Trailside is not a professional guide service.  Our leaders function, as facilitators only, to enhance your outdoor experience.  Reports of trail and weather conditions are based on best available information, are subject to change, and are no guarantee of fitness for any particular purpose or appropriate for a certain fitness level.  You may join us on this hike at your own risk.  Keep in mind that hiking involves risks and weather changes quickly in the mountains.  You are responsible for your own safety and the more prepared you are, the better the chance you will remain safe.  Signing up for any Trailside organized event indicates that you have read, understand, and agree to the terms of this disclaimer and hold harmless all Trailside Organizers and Leaders in the event of injury or loss.

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  • Devon

    Awesome to see all you guys!

    June 28

  • Mark

    Great trails - another good find Robert!

    1 · June 28

  • Rohit

    Whoops, I thought I had cancelled since I couldn't make it but I guess I forgot to update. Sorry about that.

    June 28

  • Sybil B

    The forecast doesn't look good. Sorry I'm going to have to back out also.

    June 28

  • Tobin E.

    Sorry folks but I'm canceling due to rain...reluctantly.

    June 28

  • Vivian J

    I live near Auburn and would like to meet you folks in Enumclaw and hopefully get a ride from there. Is this doable?

    June 27

    • Tobin E.

      Hi Vivian...I'm sure there will be room somewhere for you...Sybil is also meeting us at the Safeway in Enumclaw....so see you there...8:25 am...perhaps message Sybil and meet her there so you are parked close to each other.

      June 27

  • Devon

    Robert, I have your tent footprint. I will bring it.

    June 27

  • Reza

    Darn it! have to miss it, house maintenance work came up that has to be done this weekend. Enjoy it for me too :)

    June 27

  • Reza

    Anyone by chance coming from south or Tacoma ?
    I live in Oly, seems I should catch Bob or Tobin at Enumclaw!

    June 26

    • Reza

      OK, sound good.see you there.

      June 26

    • Edna R.

      tobin im not going to make it tomorrow morning :( they just told me, so sorry hope I can catch you guys another time :) thanku for being so kind and thanku robert for letting me in

      June 27

  • Mark

    My schedule opened late for a hike tomorrow - I'll look until 11PM to see if space opens up otherwise enjoy the hike!

    June 27

  • Lisa

    Hi Cynthia, I would like to carpool with you at the SR 512 P&R.

    June 26

  • Devon

    I still need a ride. Reeeally want to go :)

    June 26

    • Robert A

      We generally figure out carpools at the Park & Ride because sometimes I don't know until that morning how many drivers I actually have. I currently have 3 people willing to drive and two more potential drivers, plus 1 more driver on the wait list. That should be more than enough, unless alot of the drivers cancel between now and Saturday.

      June 26

    • Devon

      Awesome, thanks

      June 26

  • Edna R.

    i'm on the waiting list, if someone cancel i would really love to go :)

    June 26

  • A former member
    A former member

    I'm sorry I won't be able to make it for saturday... Hope it will leave a space for someone else to do it. Have a nice hike !

    June 26

  • Sybil B

    I'm coming from Enumclaw so I can follow you up from there or meet at the trailhead.

    June 23

    • Sybil B

      Great, I will follow you guys up from there. I think I know where it is but not positive. :)

      June 24

    • Reza

      this works for me too if you have 1 spot left?

      June 26

  • Tobin E.

    I can take three or four plus me and plenty of room for packs etc...I don't have a park pass though.

    1 · June 24

    • Tobin E.

      Hi Sybil and Edna and your friend...we can meet in Enumclaw...at the Safeway and you three can ride with me...about the 8:25 am time frame...I know you can make that Sybil, can you Edna?

      June 25

    • Tobin E.

      Oh, Edna, gotta wait til some spots open up...

      1 · June 25

  • Cynthia F.

    I can drive 3 and have an Interagency Pass

    June 20

    • Devon

      Could I get a ride with you maybe?

      June 25

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