Martin Peak located on the northwest boundary of Mount Rainier National Park is good spring time peak-bagging and hiking destination. Provide there is good snow, this peak can be reached fairly easily with the a short off trail bushwhack. The peak itself is the western most high point on the ridge and is home to decent views of the surrounding area. From the summit of Martin Peak there is a clear-cut on the mountain that looks out to the north. On a clear day the Olympic Mountains can be scene as well as the Black Hills of Washington just South of Olympia. You can even see the Port of Tacoma from the summit of Martin Peak. Out of the three peaks Martin Peak has the most open of views.
To get to Martin Peak you want to park at the Paul Peak Trailhead just beyond the the Mount Rainier National Park. Once at the the trailhead walk back down the to the park boundary to the decommissioned Boundary Trail. This trail is decent condition and becomes obvious once you go 30 yards past the road. Continue all the way on the trail up to the top of the ridge where you will turn left and head up slope to the summit. Once on the ridge it is highly recommended that you head back to the trail and then head east along the ridge for the summit of Virginia Peak and Berry Peak.
Getting ThereVIA 410 in Buckley:
Take Route 165 South. It will soon intersect with Route 162. Continue on Route 165 south through the towns of Wilkeson and Carbonado. You then go over an older bridge ove the Carbon River. This bridge is beginning to look unsteady and would not be a good place to be during an earthquake. Roughly a half mile over the bridge you will run into an intersection with one road veering right and head up Mowich Lake Road. You want to head up 11 miles up past the park boundary and the Paul trailhead will be on your right.
Mount Rainier National Park Pass is required at the trailhead. It is $15 for the day and $30 for the year. From my experience though during the offseason
, I did not need a Park Pass to park at the Paul Peak Trailhead.
Backcountry Permit Required for Camping while in Mount Rainier National Park. For more information please click here
It should be noted that the Boundary Trail does spend some time outside of Mount Rainier National Park and in that general area you do not need a permit to camp there.
External Links Information on the Backcountry Hiking and Camping at Mount Rainier National Park