From the north trailhead for Tatoosh Trail 161, climb 2.5 miles to the signed junction with Tatoosh Lakes Trail 161B. Bypass it, contouring with minor ups and downs along steeply sloped meadows for another two miles. There is a rock slide area at 3.6 miles that may require a short but easy enough detour, unless lingering snow presents a problem.
At 4.5 miles is a junction with a hairpin switchback signed “Trail 161A. Tatoosh Peak”. This is the route to the former lookout site. Switchback sharply to the left and begin climbing due north on it.
The 0.7 mile spur trail is somewhat rutted and can be windy once you are on the exposed ridge. This very same exposed ridge is very popular with photographers when it is carpeted with wildflowers. As you crest the final few feet, every step enlarges your view of Mount Rainier. From the former lookout site at 6400 feet, a turquoise tarn is visible below the north side, providing a photogenic foreground for that impressive volcano. On a clear day, Mount Adams, Mount Hood, and Mount St. Helens are also visible, scanning from south to southwest.
- 10.4 miles, roundtrip
- Elevation Gain
- 4,100 feet
- Highest Point
- 6,400 feet
Hiking Tatoosh Lookout
Map & Directions
Co-ordinates: 46.7131, -121.7159 Open in Google Maps