Quote of the Month:

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

Skyline Trail / Panorama Point

Parent Category: Hiking
Created: 09 January 2014
Trailhead address:

52415 Paradise-Longmire Road, Mount Rainier National Park, Packwood, WA 98361

Distance: 5.4 mile loop trail
Hiking Time: 4 hours
Elevation Gain: 1,700 feet
High Point: 7,100 feet
Best time for hiking: Late July – Middle of October
Trailhead Pass: National Park Pass Required
GPS Waypoints:

Trailhead: N46 47.162, W121 44.099



Skyline Trail is known as the best hike in Mount Rainier National Park. It leads hikers through alpine meadows with numbers of wildflowers at Paradise, passes streams and waterfalls, and even snowfields and glaciers. Skyline Trail loops up to Panorama Point, the most gorgeous and stunning viewpoint where hikers enjoy the closeness of Mount Rainier.

The length of the entire trail loop is 5.4 miles with elevation gain of 1,700 feet. Visitors may also shorten the distance to 4.5 miles by taking Golden Gate Trail shortcut. It should be said that this hike from Paradise to Panorama Point is known all over the world and tourists from the entire world come here to enjoy the famous wildflower alpine meadows.

Be sure to pick up a map showing the network of trails so you can plan your route. Don’t be afraid to be lost because all the trail junctions are well signed.

Hikers should also remember to stay on trail despite the desire to walk in the alpine meadows, but it is forbidden. Lots of signs remind visitors that trampled flowers may not recover from the human impact for decades.

The hike along Skyline Trail to Panorama Point starts near the Visitors Center and climbs up the hill. There will be several junctions along the way, but Skyline Trail is well-marked. On the way to a junction with Dead Horse Creek Trail the Skyline Trail gains about 200 feet. Here the hikers will enjoy the first views of Mount Rainier and Nisqually Glacier.

The next junction on your way will be with Alta Vista Trail, you are to hike straight toward the mountain. The next mile will gain the elevation of 850 feet. The main thing that you need to do here is to stop and to listen to the sound of the ice that is moving. If you are lucky to hike on a sunny day, you may surely enjoy a waterfall that is flowing out of the glacier.

Hikers may also encounter snowfields which can be found in this area for much of the year.

Panorama Point opens before visitors breathtaking views of the Paradise region, the Tatoosh Range and stunning views of both stratovolcanoes Mount Saint Helen and Mount Adams.

At Panorama Point there are two possibilities for hikers: to hike back the way you came or to make a loop. The Skyline Trail continues above Panorama Point and gains the highest elevation of 7, 051 feet.

The trail leads visitors through beautiful mountain landscapes, along the wildflower fields and small streams. Continue to a junction with Golden Gate Trail, from here Skyline Trail descends to Myrtle Falls and passes Sluiskin Falls.

Myrtle Falls is a spectacular waterfall that flows from the snowfields of Mount Rainier. Spend some time here and take great pictures.

Less than half a mile is left till the end of the trail. Skyline Trail is a great hike for enjoying the pristine nature and breath taking views of the mountains that make this region famous.


To get the directions click on the link below:

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Photo: Roman Khomlyak

Information: Marina Petrova

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