The main benefit of Brown Peak is that it provides spectacular views of The Palisades. Also, an ascent of Brown Peak can easily be combined with a climb of Slide Mountain. Slide Mountain is connected to Brown via a fine trail along the ridge one mile due north of Brown Peak.
For a very easy, laid back trip with no difficulties, and for an easy ramble through green parkland dotted with a multitude of subalpine tarns, Brown is a nice choice for a day.
Find the trailhead of the Palisades Trail at the northeast corner of the parking area, and start your discouraging descent, losing 300 feet to Sunrise Lake in 1/2 mile. In another mile, reach pretty Clover Lake, as the trail makes inefficient ups and downs, losing elevation as quickly as it gains it. Another mile takes you past Dicks Lake (and camps), and finally, the trail reaches its highpoint at a pass betweeen The Palisades to the Southwest and Brown Peak to the Northeast. This is 3.5 miles from the Sunrise Point trailhead.
Look for a concealed (by a fallen tree) trail leading right (east) from the trail high point. This trail will steeply gain the West Ridge of Brown Peak, leading to a forested summit in about 1/2 mile. The best views will be lower down in the meadows. Great views of The Palisades are visible from here. Trip Stats: 8 miles roundtrip. Elevation gain: 1200 feet with ups and downs. Difficulty: Class 1.
Red Tape and Camping
The Park Service, in its infinite wisdom, has established campsites a Dicks Lake and Upper Palisades Lake. Of course, these are the buggiest, swampiest, holes along the entire trail. Camping is not permitted at the beautiful Hidden Lake or at Clover Lake. That's our Park Service for you. Bring lots of bug repellant.
External LinksMt. Rainier National Park
Another great site is this excellent Mt. Rainier climbing blog, which gives up-to-date snowpack and road conditions on Mt. Rainier and the all of the roads: Mt. Rainier Climbing Page