Rainier and a tree
located just south of Mount Rainier National Park, is a famous winter destination and summit. With over a thousand feet of prominence (1023') this signature summit of the Mount Tahoma Trails is well known for its beautiful scenery and it's stunning views of Mount Rainier. There is an actual Hut up on the summit that is home to winter (reservations needed in winter) and is very modern. Because of the hut this summit is well known as a snowshoe and skiing destination. The summit is also famous because the hike/snowshoe is not very overly difficult involving either a 6 or an 8 mile trip depending on snow conditions and either 1600 feet of gain or 2400 feet of gain
on a logging road.
The famous High Hut
Views on top of High Hut include an absolutely stunning view of Mount Rainier as well as many other hikes in the region such as High Rock, Osborne Mountain and even parts of Mount Saint Helens. The winter view itself has sold this place at least since 1990 when the famous High Hut was built. On a good winter day you can see many of the crevasses and the whole profile of Mount Rainier from a distance.
FROM ELBE, WASHINGTON: You want to go SR 706 to just before Ashford. Make a right onto a road located just before the Baptist Church which will be DNR 1. Stay on the road for five miles as it passes by number of other road many which are gate. This section could be slightly confusing except there are signs that do lead to the Hut parking area. Soon you arrrive at the lower Sno-Park lot. If the snow is not too bad and it is not gated you can head higher up to middle lot which with shave about two miles round-trip and 700 feet of elevation gain.
Heading down the trail
High Hut is a basic road-walk from the parking area. In winter this can vary from 6 miles with 1700 feet of elevation gain or 8 miles and 2400 feet of elevation gain depending on the snowline and the road difficulty. Most important thing to remember about this mountain is that about 1.5 miles from the middle lot or 2.5 miles from the lower lot make a right at the saddle and follow the signs to High Hut.
High Hut Route Map
In summer this parking area only requires a Discover Pass. In winter though this area requires both a Discover Pass and a Sno-Park Pass.
When to Climb
Mount Rainier while heading down
Though this peak can be hiked to year round it is most popular in winter. The trail up can be groomed in winter making the destination highly desirable. Also this summit has very little risk of avalanche danger making it relatively safe hike even moderate or considerable avalanche danger. In summer this is nothing more than a road slog and with hundreds of trails nearby this because much less of a desirable place to visit. You will though have a better chance of solitude and have a good chance to summit though but I really would not recommend coming here in summer.
Dusk view of Rainier
This is one of the summits you will clearly want to stay overnight in winter. High Hut is available for overnight use provided you make reservations. Space is limited but the hut is well constructed and it does provide nice accommodations away from the cold. To make reservations at the hut go onto the Mount Tahoma Reservations page
. As of 2017 it is $15 per person. Make sure to bring your own fun and a sleeping bag when heading up to this Hut.