ApproachSee the information posted on the main page about how to get to the TH.
For the type of view you can get from the trail, check out this photo by Dennis Long
Route DescriptionThere is nothing difficult about this hike unless you hit snow higher up and lose the trail in early season. GPS'ing the route beforehand would be a good idea in such a case. Normally, a well graded trail takes you up to the top, which is where you'll find a lookout. The trail starts with a long traverse on the south side of the peak to the east before switchbacking back to the west. The trail makes a couple more but much shorter switchbacks along the way and about the two and a half mile mark, you crest a ridge and get your first view of Mt. Rainier (assuming it is a sunny day). Enjoy the view but keep going because it only gets better the higher up you go. The lookout at the top doesn't come into view until you are almost upon it.
8 miles round trip with close to 3500 feet of elevation gain.
Figure about 5 hours roundtrip not including time you spend enjoying the view.
In the fall, huckleberries will make your progress slower but be aware that there are plenty of bears who enjoy the same treat judgine from all the berry loaded bear scat I saw even in the middle of August.
An outhouse and small camping area is located about 200 yards south of the lookout.
Essential GearAs there isn't very much shade after the first mile or so, the trail is on the hot slopes in the summertime and be sure to carry plenty of water. 3 quarts or so would be a good choice.
Early May might find snow still on the trail so plan accordingly. It is always
a wise idea to check with Mt. Rainier National park about road conditions as Cayuse Pass might be closed depending on the time of year.