Mt. Rainier Washington: Everything You Should Know Before Hiking Burroughs Mountain
Besides Antelope Canyon in Arizona, Burroughs Mountain is the most unique landscape we've ever seen. Barren and wide-open, the hike is incredibly impressive. In the end, you're so close to Mount Rainier that you feel as if you can touch the peak. Keep reading to see our pictures and learn what you need to know to tackle this hike yourself.
First off how do you arrive at the trailhead? You'll need to pay admission to the National Park, and the pass you get is good for an entire week. From the White River entrance to Mount Rainier National Park on Hwy 410, follow the road to its end and the Sunrise parking lot. The trailhead is clearly marked from the parking lot. Be sure to use the restrooms before you head out. It will be a while before you're back in the parking lot.
Along the trail are three main checkpoints, 1st Burroughs, 2nd Burroughs and finally 3rd Burroughs. The views get better the farther out you hike. From the trailhead to 1st Burroughs is a relatively easy 2-mile roundtrip walk. 2nd Burroughs is around 6 miles out and back, and slightly more difficult. At the very least you should try to make it to 2nd Burroughs. The views of Mount Rainier are gorgeous.
If you have the energy though, you should head to 3rd Burroughs. There's no comparison to 2nd Burroughs. If you go all the way to 3rd, you will have traveled 9 miles roundtrip and climbed 2500ft. 3rd Burroughs is the tallest spot in the park that you can reach by trail. After a steep descent from 2nd Burroughs, you'll climb 1,155 ft to reach the summit. It is a challenging part of the trail for sure, but once you get to the top, I think you'll see it was well worth it. This hike was one of the most beautiful sites we've ever seen. We felt close enough to Mt Rainier to reach out and touch it. If you're feeling adventurous, walk to the edge and look down. The views of the glacier runoff, thousands of feet straight down, are exhilarating.
Even if it's not hot, bring sunscreen. Surprisingly we both sunburned pretty severely in the tundra. We were also surprised by how warm it was. Although unseasonably warm when we went, check the weather and dress in layers. Bring plenty of water and food. It's a long hike, and there is no water available along the trail.
3rd Burrows was one of the last hikes we did on our PNW trip. It was a great way to cap off a fantastic week. The views from this part of the park are surreal and gorgeous. You won't be disappointed if you can only make it to 2nd burrows, but if you take the trail all the way to the top, you'll see it's worth the effort.