Tolmie Peak, Alki Crest, and Florence Peak
The Tolmie Peak, Alki Crest, and Florence Peak trail is a moderate hike in Mount Rainier National Park that takes you up to an old fire lookout where you’ll enjoy incredible up-close views of Mount Rainier and Eunice Lake. From the lookout, you’ll hike to Alki Crest and Florence Peak, where even more expansive views await.
This approach combines three worthwhile destinations in one route, and the more unique trail gives you a quieter journey to enjoy. For a lightly-trafficked day with plenty of amazing scenery and 3-in-1 satisfaction, this trail delivers.
To get to the Tolmie Peak trailhead from Puyallup, drive east on Highway 410 for 13.0mi. You’ll enter Buckley and turn right on Highway 165 and drive through Carbonado. Just past the Carbon River Gorge bridge, turn right onto Mowich Lake Road. Continue for 17.0mi until the road dead-ends. At the end of the road, look for the trailhead on the left side.
Mowich Lake Campground
|When to do|
Out and back
Tolmie Peak, Alki Crest, and Florence Peak
Tolmie Peak, Alki Crest, and Florence Peak Trail Description
The Tolmie Peak, Alki Crest, and Florence Peak Trail is a very scenic and less busy hiking route in Mount Rainier National Park. The bugs on this trail are especially bad, even in comparison to other buggy trails in the area, so bring a potent spray.
The Tolmie Peak, Alki Crest, and Florence Peak Trail begins from the parking area at Mowich Lake Campground. Head around the west side of Mowich Lake on a trail that gains gradual elevation. The elevation soon picks up a bit as you approach Ipsut Pass, which is part of the Wonderland Trail. Keep left here. After 0.8mi, you’ll reach Eunice Lake. Take the trail past the lake and begin a steeper section of the trail.
After a mile of uphill hiking, you’ll reach Tolmie Peak. Views of the Carbon River Valley and Mount Rainier dominate your sightline, and Eunice Lake down below makes the view extra impressive. You may need to exercise some route-finding skills as you traverse to Alki Crest. You can take either a much steeper route that crests Howard Peak or hang down to the southwest to skirt under the peak. Both of these routes meet just before the crest.
From Alki Crest, follow the ridgeline straight to Florence Peak. You may run into some residual snow, so take care to remain on the path. Once you make it to Florence Peak, you will need to retrace your steps back to the trailhead, once again taking care to follow the GPS route and stay on track before hitting the better-defined trail closer to Tolmie Peak. We do not recommend attempting to descend directly off Florence Peak due to the steep nature of the mountain’s faces.
Although Mount Rainier (14409ft) is a given highlight for most of the trails in the area, this hike offers an exceptional view of the peak and is one of the premier routes to take sunrise and sunset photographs on. Enjoy an up-close view of the largest active stratovolcano in the Cascade Range early in your hike from Tolmie Peak.
Frequently Asked Questions
What pass do I need for Tolmie Peak, Alki Crest, and Florence Peak?
You’ll need to acquire a daily entry pass for Rainier National Park or possess a yearly national park pass to access this hike. These can be purchased online ahead of time or at the park entry.
Can you swim in Mowich Lake?
While you’re technically allowed to swim in Mowich Lake, the water comes directly from snowmelt and thus presents a risk of hypothermia to swimmers. If you choose to swim, ensure you take proper precautions like limiting your time in the water and warming up promptly afterwards.
The last stretch of road to the trailhead is gravel and sometimes in poor condition, so bring a high-clearance vehicle if you can.
The bugs are particularly bad on this trail, and a high-strength bug repellent is a must.
Mowich Lake is a perfect place for a swim after your hike.
The meadows around Eunice Lake are gorgeous but fragile, so watch your step and stay on the path.
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