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Skyline Trail

Intermediate/Difficult
 4.8 (97) RECOMMENDED ROUTE

A popular and easily accessible route, skirting the slopes of Mount Rainier and Paradise Glacier.


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Map Key

5.3

Miles

8.6

KM

74%

Runnable

6,765' 2,062 m

High

5,451' 1,661 m

Low

1,493' 455 m

Up

1,485' 453 m

Down

11%

Avg Grade (6°)

38%

Max Grade (21°)

Dogs No Dogs

Features Birding · River/Creek · Views · Wildflowers · Wildlife

The park has closed Skyline Trail at the intersection that meets Upper Skyline due to slippery conditions. One has to take Upper Skyline to complete the loop. The park will re-evaluate the closure in the spring.

Check current trail conditions before starting this route. Early season trail use may be hazardous.

Overview

This route starts and ends at the Paradise Jackson Visitor Center, and is one of the more popular routes in the Paradise area.

As one might expect, the closer Skyline brings you to Mount Rainier, the better the views become. Especially if you're interested in getting up close and personal with Paradise Glacier.

Need to Know

Several sections of the park are designated as day use only. These areas have been closed to overnight camping due to previous resource damage caused by concentrations of people in areas too fragile to sustain such use. Paradise is a day use only area. Please stay only on the constructed trails and help minimize impact on this delicate environment. Current trail conditions are available park-wide from wilderness information centers, ranger stations, and visitor centers.

Rest on benches or rocks. Please do not sit or run on delicate subalpine plants.

Treat water before drinking. Fires are prohibited. No pets on trails.

Runner Notes

Generally a good running route, the initial ascent proves difficult due to steep grades, and crowding. The further you get from the visitor center, the easier the running becomes.

Description

The trailhead is located near the entrance to the Jackson Visitor Center at Paradise, marked by stone steps inscribed with a quote by John Muir.

Running the loop clockwise, the trail climbs 2 miles until reaching Panorama Point, where a toilet is provided for trail users. Past Panorama Point the trail begins its one mile descent to the junction with the Golden Gate Trail. Another 0.75 mile and the Skyline Trail reaches the Stevens-Van Trump Memorial and its junction with the Paradise Glacier Trail. From there it descends into the Paradise Valley, then climbs slightly to Myrtle Falls and finally back to Paradise.

For a shorter version of this loop, take the Golden Gate Trail back to Paradise.

Flora & Fauna

The trail offers stunning displays of subalpine wildflowers, a close-up look at Mount Rainier and the Nisqually Glacier, and, on a clear day, views of peaks as far south as Oregon's Mount Hood.

Contacts

Shared By:

Tom Robson with improvements by Cody Hendrix

Trail Ratings

  4.8 from 97 votes

#1

in Paradise

#29

Overall
  4.8 from 97 votes
5 Star
84%
4 Star
16%
3 Star
0%
2 Star
0%
1 Star
0%
Recommended Route Rankings

#1

in Paradise

#2

in Washington

#29

Overall
66 Views Last Month
12,721 Since Mar 5, 2015
Intermediate/Difficult

0%
0%
61%
7%
32%
0%

Photos

Mt. Rainier towards the beginning of the Skyline Trail.
Feb 6, 2016 near Eatonville, WA
Mt. Rainier
May 13, 2015 near Eatonville, WA
Winter camping just outside Paradise on the Skyline Trail.
Dec 16, 2015 near Eatonville, WA
A beautiful cascade coming off of Skyline.
Jul 23, 2015 near Eatonville, WA
Photos just don't do this massive mountain justice!
Jun 27, 2016 near Eatonville, WA
Sunset on Mt Rainier National Park.
Apr 12, 2016 near Eatonville, WA

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Check-Ins

Sep 4, 2020
Glenn glenncaffery@gmail.com
Used Upper Skyline to complete the loop. Started at sunrise, few people at that time. Amazed with amount of bloom in September.
Aug 13, 2020
Jonmark Smith
Aug 30, 2019
Joe Robinson
Amazing views of Rainier for almost the entire loop. We went counter clockwise and the climb seems to go on for a while. One of the best trails! 5.5mi — 2h 38m
Sep 19, 2018
Adrian Mondragon
Aug 15, 2018
Paul Dzierba
5.3mi