Quote of the Month:

Nature gives to every time and season some beauties of its own." - Charles Dickens

Sheep Lake Trail

Parent Category: Hiking
Created: 21 October 2014
Location: Mount Rainier, Chinook Pass
Length: 4.2 miles, Roundtrip
Elevation Gain: 402 ft
Highest Point: 5750 ft
GPS Coordinates: Parking Lot:46°52'31.0"N 121°31'07.0"W
Sheep Lake: 46°53'39.0"N 121°30'06.0"W

Photo from Mount Rainier, Chinook Pass, Sheep LakePictures and the video below will take you on a virtual tour to the alpine lake. Enjoy autumn colors!


Photo from Mount Rainier, Chinook Pass, Sheep Lake

Sheep Lake Trail is located in Paradise Area and is accessible from July till November, but remember to check whether Chinook Pass is open. The length of the trail is 4.2 miles and the elevation gain is only about 400 ft.

Our team recommends this mountain walk, because it is short and is good for all skill levels. The path takes hikers along the Pacific Crest Trail and offers views of the mountains that will held your breath away.

Photo from Mount Rainier, Chinook Pass, Sheep Lake

From the very beginning, the path parallels State Route 410 and provides very beautiful panoramic views. We chose October for our hike and we didn’t regret. Out team was mesmerized by the beauty of fall nature in different colors. From the very beginning of the hike, we felt as if we stepped out of the car and walked into an impressionistic painting. And it is so true, the Creator of this Universe is the Greatest Painter, we enjoyed every masterful dash of the brush. Take a look at the pictures below and you will also imagine this perfect picture!

Before the trail enters the forest, you will be able to see Naches and Yakima Peaks. As soon as you enter the forest, you will feel that the trail climbs up the hill. This place is home for many species of birds, deer, mountain goats, marmots and martens. Take a close look and may be you will be lucky to see them.

Photo from Mount Rainier, Chinook Pass, Sheep Lake

Very soon we were at Sheep Lake and we had this peaceful place to ourselves. Sheep Lake was perfectly calm and tranquil, green conifers cast their reflection on the water, and as the lake rippled, they seemed to dance with each other. You can sit and enjoy the beauty of the lake for hours, but if you want to get even better view of the lake from above, you need to continue.

One more mile of hiking and you will be at Sourdough Gap. This part of the trail is very steep and hikers should be very attentive, especially if they hike with kids. The best views of the area are found in the northwest side of the gap. A very sharp 500-foot cliff gives the opportunity to enjoy Mount Rainier’s Emmons Glacier and the Crystal Lakes basin.

Photo from Mount Rainier, Chinook Pass, Sheep Lake

In about 0.25 miles north of Sourdough Gap, we were taken aback with earth shaking views of alpine meadows covered with fall color displays and green conifers that surround blue waters of Placer Lake.


From the West:

Drive east on State Highway 410 from Enumclaw 43.5 miles to Chinook Pass.

From the East: 

Drive west on State Highway 12 from Naches 4.5 miles to the junction with State Highway 410. Continue on State Highway 410 for 47 miles to Chinook Pass

These pictures were taken on October 9, 2014

In order to get the directions click on the link below:

Photo: Roman Khomlyak

Photo Editing: Alex Mandryko

Information: Marina Petrova

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