The Burroughs Mountain Trail at Mount Rainier’s Sunrise is a two-fer. If you’re on the lookout for dazzling mountain vistas, this is the place.
First Burroughs Mountain is 4.8 miles RT, with a 900 foot elevation gain. Second Burroughs Mountain – i.e., the good stuff – is 6.0 miles RT, with a 1200 foot elevation gain.
To get to Burroughs Mountain, start at the upper end of the picnic area at Sunrise, elev. 6,400. Chug up the nature trail to the Sourdough Ridge Trail. Head left. Take the SRT to the junction at Frozen Lake. From here, follow the Burroughs Mountain Trail. It winds uphill to the southwest. The trail is steep and hits the top of First Burroughs Mountain at about 7,000 feet. It’s rocky and barren as you march up the mountain. But on a nice, clear day in September, the sky hangs out an impossible sheet of blue that bounces off the Emmons and Winthrop Glaciers like a neon sign.
If you’re legs are up for it, keep going. Pass an intersection to Second Burroughs, climbing 400 more feet in about half a mile. Second Burroughs offers grand views into the Glacier Basin below, Little Tahoma to the south, and views of the park to the north. The latter includes Skyscraper Mountain, Fremont Lookout, Berkeley and Grand Parks, and Skyscraper Mountain. Wear a hat and bring plenty of water, because you’re above the tree line. Return via the Sunrise Rim Trail.
Getting there: From the White River entrance to Mount Rainier National Park on Hwy 410, follow the road to its end and the Sunrise parking lot.
Note: Not recommended for families with little ones of if you’re not in decent shape.