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Skyscraper Mountain

Mount Rainier Area > NE - Sunrise/White River
46.9146, -121.6423 Map & Directions
8.0 miles, roundtrip
Elevation Gain
1,300 feet
Highest Point
7,000 feet
Calculated Difficulty About Calculated Difficulty

The road to Sunrise is closed for the season

Skyscraper Mountain from the Wonderland Trail. Photo by Ken Giesbers. Full-size image
  • Wildflowers/Meadows
  • Ridges/passes
  • Wildlife
  • Mountain views
  • Dogs not allowed
  • Summits
  • Lakes

Parking Pass/Entry Fee

National Park Pass
Saved to My Backpack

The Sunrise area of Mount Rainier National Park offers many fantastic views of The Mountain. But don’t neglect the other views. Scramble up Skyscraper Mountain to enjoy a full 360 degree view of numerous lofty peaks, verdant treeless parks, and river valleys far below. Continue reading

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Hiking Skyscraper Mountain

From the north side of the parking lot at Sunrise, start out on the unmarked paved road/trail between the restrooms and the Visitor Center. Follow signs toward Frozen Lake to bypass the picnic area and then climb up rock and dirt steps to connect with the Sourdough Ridge Trail. Go left. At Frozen Lake, 1.25 miles from the trailhead, stay right to remain on the Sourdough Ridge Trail, coming to a five-way junction at 1.5 miles.

At the junction, follow the sign directing you, more or less straight on, to the Wonderland Trail. Begin a gradual descent through open rocky meadows. At 2.25 miles, stay left on the Wonderland Trail, passing the signed junction with the Northern Loop Trail that leads to Berkeley Park (and is a delightful, if shorter, option to the much more crowded Wonderland Trail).

The trail goes through some minor ups and downs then climbs steadily up to a small pass at 3.4 miles. The rest of the route is in sight now. Continue up to the top of the ridge at 3.6 miles, a popular resting place.

From here, leave the Wonderland Trail to follow an obvious path through gravel and rock that drops slightly then winds its way up the spine of Skyscraper Mountain. Once you leave the Wonderland Trail you will be on an unofficial, unmaintained trail. When snow-free, this is an easy scramble to the summit, elevation 7018 feet according to the Park Service, or slightly less than 7000 feet according to other sources. As with most scramble trails, this one is not for everyone. The scramble itself is moderately easy, but the summit is small, rocky, and exposed.

From the summit you get a full 360 degree panoramic view that will have your head bobbing. To the south, follow the tiers of Burroughs Mountain left to right, up to where the Inter Glacier and Steamboat Prow point to the summit of Rainier. Continuing clockwise, see the green meadows of aptly named Vernal Park, Winthrop Creek and the West Fork White River far below, the immense plateau of Grand Park, the Fremont Lookout, and finally Berkeley Park, below to the southeast.

Return the way you came, try this variation: At the five-way junction, you can take an alternate path back to Sunrise, but you should have a map and know how to use it; the network of trails around Sunrise can be quite confusing.

Hike Description Written by
Ken Giesbers, WTA Correspondent

Skyscraper Mountain

Map & Directions

Co-ordinates: 46.9146, -121.6423 Open in Google Maps

Before You Go

The road to Sunrise is closed for the season

See weather forecast

Parking Pass/Entry Fee

National Park Pass

WTA Pro Tip: Save a copy of our directions before you leave! App-based driving directions aren't always accurate and data connections may be unreliable as you drive to the trailhead.

Getting There

Drive to Mount Rainier National Park’s northeast (White River) entrance, 40 miles east and south of Enumclaw on State Route 410, or 3 miles north of Cayuse Pass on State Route 410. Follow the road to its end at Sunrise. There is parking for about 350 vehicles at the upper parking lot. There are bathrooms with running water, a Day Lodge, and a Visitor Center.

More Hike Details


Mount Rainier Area > NE - Sunrise/White River

Mount Rainier National Park

Guidebooks & Maps

Day Hiking: Mt. Rainier National Park Trails (Nelson & Bauer - Mountaineers Books)

Mt. Rainier National Park Hiking Map and Guide

Earthwalk Press

Buy the Green Trails Mt Rainier East No. 270 map

Download a map to plan your hike

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Skyscraper Mountain

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