Skyscraper Mountain, located on the Sunrise or eastern side of Mount Rainier National Park is a very popular off trail day hike/scramble. At 8.3 miles rountrip and only 2000 of elevation gain and loss and most the peak being an off trail walk-up, this special peak is a great mountain for peakbaggers. The summit of this peak is home to to three volcano view and great close up shots of Mount Rainier. The 360 views and the pure openness of the this peak makes it a great delight to those searching for great alpine summit with the efforts.
The route up is basically a Class 1 all the way up. In no area do you ever have to do any true scrambling. It is mostly a walkup to the summit. From Sunrise you want to the Mount Fremont Trail 2.5 miles to Frozen Lake a landmark location on the Sunrise side of Mount Rainier National Park. From there you will want to pick up the Wonderland Trail and take the trail roughly 1.8 miles at first going down in elevation and then up in elevation to the ridge that connects to Skyscraper Mountain. From there take the off trail semi-bootpath all the way to the summit of Skyscraper Mountain.
Though the peak roundtrip is 8.3 miles, due to the gradual change in elevation this mountain should only take between three and six hours to complete. Be prepared with a camera because you will take over a hundred photos of the beautiful landscape from this mountain.
It should be noted that there is a marmot home right on the summit of the mountain. As you can see from these picture the marmot does come out. Watch your food because this marmot attempted to get into my pack for food. Cute little thing but with all wildlife respect your distance from it.
Getting ThereFrom Enumclaw: Take State Highway 410 roughly 40 miles southeast. Take a right on the White River entrance (toll). Stay on the road past the numorous curves in the road. You will then hit three hairpin turns. Head all the way to Sunrise Lodge.
Red TapeMount Rainier day pass ($15 as of 2011), annual pass ($30 as of 2011) or total park annual pass ($80).
CampingBackcountry Permit Required for Camping while in Mount Rainier National Park. For more information please click here
External LinksHere is a list of sites to Mount Rainier National Park.
National Park Service website to Mount Rainier
Another site by National Park Service to Mount Rainier