Antler Peak located in the Sunrise location of Mount Rainier National Park is yet another special summit. Antler Peak is the highest peak on the immediate Sourdough Ridge where Sunrise is located. It is a short 300 foot Class 2 bushwhack scramble of the Sourdough Ridge Trail which also connects to nearby Dege Peak another trail in which the park has made trail accessible. That said Antler Peak is not accessible by trail and does require some off-trail route finding skills to get to. It is for this reason as well as to prevent damage to flora near the trail why the national park service discourages park users from climbing up Antler Peak.
Though it is technically legal, if you do plan on summiting this peak please don't do it when this trail is busy. As always respect the ecosystem especially near the trail. Though you as a user might be comfortable which the off-trail bushwhack other day-hikers, often are not ready for what is ahead of them and might be putting themselves in a situation over there heads so try to head up when others are around. Identify yourself from the common hiker by bringing and wearing extra gear. A helmet will usually do the trick in identifying you from others. Your short bushwhack will include hiking up loose soil at a 30 degree slope and scramble through scrubby evergreens to the true summit.
Once on the summit the views are excellent of the surrounding area. Up close shots of Rainier rival that of nearby Mount Fremont and views of other nearby peaks are excellent. Included in the views are nearby Dege Peak and many of the other summit that are north of Sunrise. The views from the summit are not quiet 360 degrees but a walk down to nearby eastern ridge provides excellent views of the southern mountains.
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.
Mount Rainier day pass ($15 as of 2011), annual pass ($30 as of 2011) or total park annual pass ($80).
It should be noted that is no camping allowed in this general area. It is way too close to the Sunrise parking area and campfires as well as well pets are absolutely not allowed here.
Backcountry Permit Required for Camping while in Mount Rainier National Park. For more information please click here
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