Tumtum Peak located on the southwest of Mount Rainier is a small but very prominent peak in Mount Rainier National Park. Tumtum Peak is a less known mountain located on the southwestern side of Mount Rainier National Park. Though it is not well known this 4800 foot mountain has over 1000 feet of prominence and is located just a mile from the popular Kautz Creek trail. But because it is not popular the mountain has no well traveled route to the summit. On its easiest route it contains an offtrail bushwhack up over 1000 feet of elevation in under a half mile. The views on top are at best partial but one can see Mount Adams from the top and High Rock and Osborne Mountain closer in.
From Puyallup and the Seattle and Tacoma Metro Area: Take WA-161 South "Meridian Ave" for 23 miles until you reach Eatonville. Once in Eatonville turn left onto Center St and go a 1/2 mile. From there continue onto Alder Cutoff Rd for 6.5 miles. You want to then turn left onto WA-7 Mountain Highway. This road will turned to National Park Highway for 18.5 miles. Stay on Washington 706 "Paradise Rd" for 3.3 miles where your trailhead will be on your right.
Unlike most mountains in Washington the winter and summer route to this summit are actually pretty much the same. There some variations depending on avalanche danger but for the most part the route is very similar in both winter and summer. You want to start out on the Kautz Creek Trailhead down before Longmire. The first mile of the trail parallels the creek area and is very level. You then cross the creek over some narrow bridges and head up more moderate terrain. Once you hit at about the 3200 foot level which would be just before the steeper sections you want to go offtrail and head into the woods. Don't head straight but head about a half mile rising gradually as you do until you enter the gap between Tumtum peak and the east ridge which it lies on. Use your GPS hereif you are not good at read terrain signals. From the gap head up a steep slope to the ridge that leads to Tumtum. It will briefly be level and then will actually go down 30 feet until you hit the final 800 foot steep bushwhack. This steep bushwhack will have modest vegetation but will rise at angle of 45 degrees in place. The first part is the section where you must use the most caution because you will be climbing up the slope with steep cliffs to the left and right of you. Rise between these cliff and then climb up through the steep forest to where you can be an opening. You will hit the ridge on the very top where you will encounter a partial view to the south of High Rock and Osborne Mountain. From there cut right and traverse the ridge all of the way to the true summit.
There is admission in order to get into Mount Rainier National Park. This varies by the year and as of 2018 can go from $30 to $80 for just a one day visit. This park also accepts the Golden Eagle Pass which is very good deal.
This is a year round mountain, though wintertime can be more challenging than summer due to variable conditions of the trail.
Camping can be done in Mount Rainier National Park and the area around this peak is not a bad spot to camp, especially if one is interested in combining multiple summits in one day. A wilderness permit is required for camping in the national park. For more information about back-country camping at the national park CLICK ON THIS LINK