This is a nice woods trail, but views don't reward the hiker until she or he arrives at Stevens Canyon Road in Mount Rainier National Park.
The trail starts alongside a grassy rock slab and works its way to the top of the ridge. In 0.6 miles from the trailhead, a short side trail descends to the right to Backbone Lake, a less attractive, tree-choked hole filled with water. The shoreline is all brushy and there are no camps. There used to be a trail sign at the junction, but only the 4x4 post remains. Someone carved the letters 'LAKE->' into a tree.
Continue up and about a mile, enjoy a short view of the Coal Creek woods on the south side of Highway 12. At two miles, cross an open area on a rock slab with a nice view of Tatoosh Peak. In early summer, a few orchids bloom here. The trail then drops, and continues to ascend to the national park boundary at Stevens Canyon Highway.
Proceed only if you have paid the entry fee or have an annual pass. The trail emerges east of the cut opposite a large parking area. A picnic on one of the tables west of the cut will be a reward for this hike, with a nice view of the mountain.
- 6.6 miles, roundtrip
- Elevation Gain
- 1,750 feet
- Highest Point
- 2,900 feet
Trail inaccessible due to washout on trail
Hiking Backbone Ridge
Map & Directions
Co-ordinates: 46.6642, -121.6003 Open in Google Maps