Camp Muir

19 reviews #9 hike out of 275 in
8.2 mi
Distance
2 hrs 58 min
Time
terrain
4,626 ft
Elev Gain

Overview

For the intrepid, the hike up to Camp Muir gives you a sense of what summiting Mount Rainier might take, and an appreciation for the grueling climb beyond. Even though it's the highest point in the park you can hike without a climbing permit, this isn't a hike to take lightly. Even the most physically conditioned are challenged on this hike, expect your trip up to take between 4-6 hours. Bring an ice axe and helmet to make your return trip much quicker via a few fun glissades!

If you are planning to stay at Camp Muir, you have 2 options. One is to bring your own camping gear including tent. The 2nd option is to stay cabin over there. It's first come, first serve. We cannot make a reservation in advance.

Getting Started

Before starting out, check the road status as unexpected road closures can happen at any time due to snow, flooding, rock falls or other causes. The Mount Rainier National Park Service does a nice job of updating their Facebook page with relevant information, which can be found here.

The trail to Camp Muir starts from Paradise, which is plowed year-round and is the most visited area in Mount Rainier National Park. Take note that parking at Paradise on winter weekends and during the summer can be difficult, so carpool whenever possible. The road between the Nisqually Entrance, Longmire and Paradise takes you past several trailheads and eventually to two parking lots: The Upper Paradise lot at 5,400 feet is for short visits, while the Lower Paradise lot can be used for stays longer than two hours (park here if space is available). Parking is not permitted on the sides of the road. Due to congestion at Paradise, consider using the free weekend Paradise Shuttle instead, which runs from the town of Ashford at the western edge of the park and through the Nisqually Entrance to Longmire and Paradise during the summer weekends, stopping at points of interest along the way.

Take the trail behind the Paradise visitor center on the Skyline Trail, past Glacier Vista and up a switchback. Follow the signs to Pebble Creek and Camp Muir. Be prepared for a variety of conditions, as the route is usually under snow well into August. Begin the route on two miles of paved trail before meandering over rocky trail and subalpine meadows. Get fresh water at Pebble Creek (treat it before drinking), unless you're prepared to melt snow. The trail eventually reaches the Muir Snowfield (which may have snow near-round), and a steep climb ahead. Keep your eyes out for great views of surrounding mountains, like Mount Adams, St. Helens and Hood. Once you see Camp Muir ahead, you have 1,000 feet more to climb. Don't despair! You're almost there. After a rest, make sure to watch your footing on the way down. Use extra caution in poor visibility, and definitely avoid stumbling onto the crevasse-pocked Nisqually Glacier to the right.

Keep in mind that Paradise is popular for backcountry skiing and snowshoeing during the winter months, and park hours change seasonally. Check the hours before you go. Mid-July and August are your best bet to reach Camp Muir, and to experience Mount Rainier at its best; especially the wildflowers. Get up to date wildflower information, here.

Summer weekend lines to get into the park can be long, so follow these tips to avoid crowds.

An entrance fee is required to enter Mount Rainier National Park, though no backcountry or climbing permit is required to enjoy a day hike to Camp Muir.

Taking Children

This is a strenuous trail up to 10,000 feet in elevation, so taking young children is not recommended. Check out other great options within Mount Rainier National Park for a diverse range of trails.



    Rate this Hike

    user_profile
    1 year, 3 months ago
    Difficult but so very very rewarding, but you can do it! It’s all about mental strength! Just something to note there are about 9 slopes in total to climb. So when you think it’s over there’s more.
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    user_profile
    1 year, 10 months ago
    This is my favorite hike. I go many times per year.
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    3 months, 3 weeks ago
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Public Tracks

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mikepaull 3 months, 4 weeks ago
Skyline Trail to Camp Muir
Hike to Camp Muir 7/31/2021 Saturday We spent Friday night at an AirBnB in Ashford to be close to Mt. Rainier. I got up at 0500, raining, after a not so restful night thinking about the climb up to 10,000’. Got some tea and assembled my gear and a lunch. We left at 0600 and were ready to begin hiking by 0700. Michelle and Mike hiking and Mark was going to fish. The Skyline Trail begins paved at the parking lot at 5400’ elevation and it goes up steep for the first 1/4 Mile or so when the trail turns to gravel. The trail continues up, but not as steep, with granite stones cut for steeping stones alternating with wooden beams for steps up. At 1.5 miles, take the Pebble Creek cutoff to the left and continue climbing stairs. After an hour, we were at 6800’ elevation, 2 miles in. Cross some snowfields for a short distance. No need to chain up yet. At 2.3 miles, 7200’ you reach Pebble Creek. Cross over the rocks between the Warning Sign and the rock painted Red. Continue on the trail to the snowfield and put on your micro spikes. Your on the snowfield to the camp. The surface is soft and slushy. At 8200’, 3.11 miles cross a short rock field. Follow the trail straight up another 1800’ elevation, 4.32 miles total to Camp Muir. Our time up was 3:30. Weather was overcast skies with light rain and some strong winds. The winds blew warm and cold. Was cold on top, bring layers, gloves, hat and your trekking poles. The wildflowers and lower meadows are really pretty in full bloom.
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arson51 5 years, 3 months ago
6-28 Miur summer route
Paradise to Muir
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