Mt. Fremont Lookout & Burroughs Mountains, Mt. Rainier National Park Trip Report
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September 15, 2002
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John is an avid hiker, spending a goodly portion of his time up in the hills, or sitting in front of a computer. Either way, most of what finds his eye is green, or blue, - organic, or lcd. John likes this website, hopes you do too, and invites you to write a review of a couple hikes you've done!
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I live in Federal Way, WA and I enjoy getting out into the great outdoors and hiking and would someday like to make it to the top of Mt. Rainier. When I can't get outside, I'm the IS manager at a marketing firm in Kent.
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Directions: From Enumclaw drive 43 miles east on Highway 410 to the Mount Rainier National Park White River Entrance Station. Proceed to Sunrise Road and follow it 17 miles west to the large parking lot and visitor center at the roads end. The trailhead is on the south side of the parking lot. Note: Sunrise Road usually doesnt open until early July.
Trail notes Burroughs Mountain: Double Jeopardy. Burroughs Mountain is one of Rainiers most spectacular alpine walks. Its also the trail that is most-often underestimated by day hikers. The route crosses a large snowfield that usually does not melt until early August, if at all. You might consider an alternative if you are uncomfortable with crossing snow with an ice ax. The snow notwithstanding, Burroughs Mountain is a great experience. The trail begins by skirting Shadow lake to Sunrise Camp and then shoots up sharply to a viewpoint with an awesome vantage point of the Emmons Glacier and moraine. Continuing up the ridgeline, cross the snowfield and climb to First Burroughs Mountain (7,300 feet), where the trail joins with a path to Frozen lake at about 2.8 miles. Continuing upward, you find a magnificent, fragile tundra environment, considered the best of its kind in the Northwest Do not for any reason venture off the trail. The plants you stomp on will take as long to grow back as youll be alive, which might not be long, if youre spotted lurching through the meadows by a backcountry ranger. Second Burroughs Mountain (elevation 7,400 feet) is about half a mile beyond the first. The views are stupendous. For the return trip you have three choices: the way you came, the Frozen lake route via Sourdough Ridge or dropping sharply south to the Glacier Basin Trail and then walking a section of the Wonderland Trail back to your vehicle.
Trail notes Mount Freemont: The Mount Fremont Trail is an easy half-day hike from the popular (and spectacular) Sunrise area, is an extremely popular hike that can be combined with other Sunrise-area destinations for a full day of wandering among some of the most spectacular mountain and alpine parkland scenery in the United States. From its common trailhead at Sunrise, the trail climbs a third mile to the top of Sourdough Ridge, and then turns left (west) along the ridge top for 1.2 miles, passing small Frozen Lake. Watch for winking blond marmots in the rocks. At the lakes end is a three-way intersection. The left trail goes to Burroughs Mountain and the center trail to Berkeley Park and Grand Park. For Mount Fremont turn due north (right). It is an easy 1.3 miles through magnificent meadow and rugged rockridge terrain to the lookout, situated to keep watch on hundreds of miles of rolling green (or clear-cut) forest all the way to the Central Cascades and Olympics. If conditions are right, your binoculars might even find downtown Seattle. Look for the brown haze. Up closer if your timing is right, you might see mountain goats. Excellent Rainier views, of course, tantalize you all along the route. Expect heavy traffic (many, many gapers) on this trail (which gains 1,200 feet one way) all summer long. It is a good family hike-even if you are here without a family. Long-distance hikers can continue straight on the Huckleberry Creek Trail, which leads about 10 miles downhill to the northern National Park Boundary.
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Fremont Lookout bug attack
Reviewed By: Milt on Tuesday, August 4, 2009 @ 08:11:10 PM
Decided to take the Fremont Lookout trail (July 31) to get ready for a Mt. Rainier summit climb. I hiked behind the Sunrise lodge to Frozen Lake along with the other day hikers. Once there at the lake, you can see the Fremont trail crossing the valley and rising up the ridge at a 45-ish degree angle. It's sort of an optical illusion. The trail does not end where you think it does. Once you get up there and round the corner, it's another 1/2 mile to the lookout. The trail is somewhat rocky (watch your footing), and you are out in the open the entire time (bring sunscreen!). The view is pretty good and there is an awsome view of Grand Park. Someone kicked in the door to the lookout, but the inside was not vandalized. Only 3 stars for this trip because of the boring trail.
The bugs on this trip were brutal! Big black flys in my face the entire time and the mosquitoes hovered in huge groups around me at the top. No wind to blow them away. I was walking in circles eating my lunch just to get away from them. They were so bad, I decided to call it a day. Makes one not want to hike anymore. I'm looking into getting a net for my face. I don't care how goofy I look!
Burroughs Loop trail
Reviewed By: Glenn on Tuesday, July 18, 2006 @ 08:32:47 PM
Hiked the Burroughs Loop trail on 17 July 2006. This hike is personal favorite. Started from Sunrise (6,408 feet), but took the trail on the left side of the Ranger Station (facing the building). Any opportunity to delay the uphill climb is always welcomed. You actually have two options from the left side. You can follow the gravel road to the Wonderland Trail (stay left at "the fork" and follow signs to Shadow Lake) or just start on the trail to Sunrise Camp/Shadow Lake. Both trails get you to the Burroughs. From Sunrise to the First Burroughs, the distance is about 2.7 (+/-) miles. The final 1.3 miles, once you pass Shadow Lake, is one of those classic Mount Rainier ascents...if you have a heart problem, you'll know quickly...every step goes up. Still, the view from the vista outlook (6,454 feet), where the trail turns a sharp right and follows the ridge line uphill, provides a breathtaking view (and a good point to catch your breath). On reaching First Burroughs (7,234 feet), the wildflowers were just starting to bloom and the marmots lively. The .6 mile hike up to Second Burroughs is just a steady walk uphill and the real reason for this hike. The view of Mount Rainier from Second Burroughs (7,408 feet) is always amazing and a great spot for lunch and photos. It was today. Bring the binoculars so you can track the climbers on the mountain (they look like ants but all seem to follow the same route). It was also windy and the fleece in my daypack came in handy. The return route to Sunrise via the more traditional trail past Frozen Lake was uneventful. Some snow on the trail but good hiking footwear and a pole minimize any challenges. The total roundtrip loop distance was about 6.1 (+/-) miles and was completed in 3 1/2 hours including a 30 minute lunch break. Although the parking lot was relatively empty when I started in the morning, by 1330, it was crowded, even for a Monday in July. One final comment--I've hiked this trail in late October/early November, just before the road to Sunrise closes. It's probably one of the best times to hike "the loop". Find a clear Fall day and you'll understand why. Happy Trails!
Reviewed By: Scott Wilson on Thursday, June 29, 2006 @ 10:54:19 AM
This remains one of my favorite day hikes in Mt. Rainier. The trail is always in good condition and the views are utterly fantastic. The first half of the trail to Frozen Lake is easy and fairly flat. It can get rather crowded especially on weekends. the second half of the trail starts up a long upgrade that provides a bit of a workout but not too bad. There are parts of the trail up towards the lookout that is walking on shale across a fairly steep slope, most people shouldn't have any trouble with it though. the trail end provides a spetacular view to the Northwest. It's a great spot to sit and eat a picinic lunch.
I enjoy this hike so much that it is a yearly trek for me and I highly recommend it for a nice day hike.
Reviewed By: Anonymous on Wednesday, September 7, 2005 @ 02:43:24 PM
Review: Great reward for the amount of work involved. Don;t bother unless it's a nice day though, you won't see much with clouds around.
Reviewed By: Anonymous on Friday, August 12, 2005 @ 09:07:16 AM
Review: I wanted to do this hike but dont know if dogs are allowed? Does anyone know. If so please post a reply.
Reviewed By: Brad on Monday, September 27, 2004 @ 04:41:13 AM
Review: Freemont is one of my favorite places on the mountain. I was actually up there earlier today, On the way down it was dark. It was the first time I made the hike back in te dark, The trails look extremly diffrent at night. A friend and I started at sunrise, around 3:30pm and made it to the lookout at 6pm ... I would strongly recomend this hike to anyone who wants to see some beatiful views, Or if they are visiting from out of state, FREEMONT IS A MUST! =D
Reviewed By: Mitch on Monday, September 13, 2004 @ 08:18:49 PM
Review: September 13, 2004
Started out of Sunrise around noon on a rainy and snowy! day. Had the trail all to myself. Saw one other person! The wind was blowing strong and on the way up, close to Frozen Lake and on up to the bend around the ridge the frozen rain was beating on my face. Wish I had goggles and a balacava! Got up to the look out with out any problems. I had envisioned an open look out but it actually is set up to house rangers over night. Only problem for was it was locked. I did not get the wind reprieve I had hoped for. Tried to hide behind the look out but a lot of water was dripping off the eaves and deck. The cloud level stayed just high enough, around 7500 to 8000 not to bother me. Hiked back down to the lake then started to head up to Burroughs MNt. As you come off of the hill from the look out the this trail is very inviting. Was up 3/4 of a mile then the thunder clap came. I decided it was time to turn back. With that the snow picked up. Took the Wonderland route back down. I suggest the same route up as down. Over all it is a nice hike. Very different hike in it has lots of up and downs rather then just a climb up. Highly recommended and next time I will get the Burroughs Mountains.
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