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Grand Park via Lake Eleanor

Mount Rainier Area

Location

Mount Rainier Area -- NE - Sunrise/White River
View map below

Length

8.0 miles, roundtrip

Elevation

Gain: 1100 ft.
Highest Point: 5630 ft.

Rating

4.50 out of 5

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Parking Pass/Entry Fee

None
 
 

The classic approach (via Sunrise) to this sea of meadows and wildflowers at the base of Mount Rainier is long and tough, putting Grand Park out of reach for most casual dayhikers. Instead, try this "backdoor" approach via Lake Eleanor to enjoy this stunning destination.

The hike begins just off FR 7360, following a bootpath along the edge of Eleanor Creek. The trail enters a mixed forest and begins a moderate climb toward Lake Eleanor. Within 0.5 mile, you will cross in to Mount Rainier National Park and in another mile arrive at the lakeside.

There are a few campsites around Lake Eleanor that provide nice views of the lake and a pleasant place for a snack, though most hikers will be eager to push onto the meadowlands ahead.

From the lake, the trail steepens and climbs through larger stands of hemlock and fir. The moderate climb is broken up by short wanderings through progressively larger meadows. Push onward and upward to the wide expanses of Grand Park.

Often filled with wildflowers during the spring and summer months, the miles-long grassland can seem to be awash in color from the moment you arrive. Resist the temptation to linger at the edges and continue onto the meadow's high point for outstanding views of The Mountain.

Find a comfortable spot to settle in and soak up the panorama. If you're hungry for more, you can continue all the way through Grand Park's meadows to connect with the Northern Loop Trail and Wonderland Trail.

 

Grand Park via Lake Eleanor

Map & Directions

Trailhead
Co-ordinates: 46.9963, -121.6413 Open map in new window

Trailhead

Mount Rainier Area -- NE - Sunrise/White River

Mount Rainier National Park

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Guidebooks & Maps

Day Hiking: Mt. Rainier National Park Trails (Nelson & Bauer - Mountaineers Books)

Green Trails Mount Rainier East No. 270

Getting There

From Enumclaw, drive east on SR 410 for 25 miles. Turn right (west) on FR 73 for 9 miles crossing over, Huckleberry Creek along the way. Continue on FR 7360 for 1 mile to the crossing at Eleanor Creek and park on the roadside. There is a small parking lot about 150 feet past the trailhead.

Please remember to park mindfully, allowing room for traffic to pass and other hikers to arrive and leave.

Parking Pass/Entry Fee

None
 

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Grand Park via Lake Eleanor

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