Sunrise is an extremely popular area in the summer through early fall and a casual hiker will be well satisfied with the first and second summit vistas. Yet, it can get quite crowded by mid-day—especially on the weekends. If you want to challenge yourself, get away from the crowds, and have a little more room for an even closer view of the north face of Mt. Rainier, consider going to the third summit.
Many hikers don't know there's a third Burroughs Mountain
. In fact, the MRNP Sunrise Area Trail Map omits it from the main Sunrise trails, but it's there and the trail is well-travelled and maintained albeit another mile and a half—uphill.
At the top of Second Burroughs, you'll see Third Burroughs in the distance and while it looks like a quick decent down then transitioning to a gradual straight accent, unless you are well-conditioned, it can be a relatively slow slog up Third Burroughs—a literal uphill battle with your legs, hips, lungs and wits about yourself.
Remember to keep it slow and steady, hydrate and rest as needed. Bring trekking poles and let them do the work. If you don't use the poles going up, definitely use them going down as they will save your knees and keep you from slipping on the pumice. On a clear day, the 360º view is breathtaking—enjoy it—take photos, rest, have a snack, and hydrate. Your determination has paid off. Also layer up, as the the summit can be windy and cold.
By now, you're ready to get back and you're probably thinking about the climb back up to Second Burroughs. It's definitely not as hard as you may think. It can be slow, but it's not as hard as the work put into Third Burroughs. Again, if you have poles, use them. You'll see that getting up and over Second Burroughs will be a breeze. Total roundtrip, out and back, will end up being about 8.75 miles from the Sunrise trailhead. And bring flip-flops to change into to give them dogs a rest. Congratulations, you did it!