Elevation Gain 900 ft. from Sunrise Point Trailhead or 615 ft. from Sunrise Lodge
Distance: 3.0 miles from Sunrise Point or 3.2 miles from Sunrise Lodge
Want to find a good mountain with incredible view with very little effort. Check out Dege Peak in Mount Rainier National Park. This peak is very easy to reach (Clear Class 1 walk up from either the Sunrise Point curve or the Sunrise Lodge in a 3.0 to 3.2 mile roundtrip hike.) The trail here is very easy to follow and at least the day on was on it only moderately popular. I spent the entire 30 minutes alone on the summit, expect for the marmot resting on the summit rocks.
The view from this summit is incredible. You get a great perspective of Mount Rainier when you climb this classic viewpoint. That is by far not the only view you see though. The view of the sorrounding mountains including Mount Adams, Mount Daniel and Mount Stuart is equally impressive, not to mention Pinnacle Peak and Little Tahoma.
As for the trail up via Sunrie Point. It begins with a view of the peak to the north as well as a teaser of the Dege Peak, the mountain you are going to climb. The dirt trail climbs at a moderate pace over both viewpoint, alpine fields and smaller trees. At roughly 1.2 miles you reach a obvious trail junction point to the Dege Peak trail on your right. Take that trail, which stays at moderate pace all the way to the rocky summit (no scramble though).
If you head down towards Sunrise Lodge take a right when you get to the trail junction. You might be tempted to climb the Antler Peak or the other subpeaks but don't do it or you will face a $100 fine if you caught
. Mount Rainier National Park is very strict on preserving the alpine fields. The trail for the next mile has some very gradual ascents and doesn't descend until you pass Antler Peak. Make a left at the the trail and continue down to Sunrise Lodge.
Getting ThereFrom Enuclaw:
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 ith then hit three hairpin turns. At the third hairpin turn you will either want to park their for the Dege Peak trailhead or head all the way to Sunrise Lodge. The Sunrise Lodge with add 0.3 miles to your trip but take off 200 feet of elevation gain.
Mount Rainier day pass ($15 as of 2007), annual pass ($30 as of 2007) or total park annual pass ($80).
There is no camping allowed on this peak. The trail is way too short to want to camp there. However Mount Rainier National Park has many other campgrounds in the area include the White River campground down the road 5 miles.
Here 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