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Burroughs Mountain Hike

From Oregon Hikers Field Guide

Mount Rainier from Second Burroughs Mountain (Steve Hart)
Frozen Lake (Steve Hart)


Hike Description

There are several trails leading out of the Sunrise Visitor Center. For this hike, head north (and uphill) for 0.2 miles to a fork in the trail. Take the left fork and hike 0.4 more miles on the Sunrise Nature Trail to the Sourdough Ridge Trail. Then turn left and head west on the Sourdough Ridge Trail. In July, these meadows are filled with lupine and other flowers.

It's 0.8 miles on the Sourdough Trail to Frozen Lake. There's a permanent snow field here that feeds the lake as it melts. The lake is the water supply for Sunrise, so a small fence keeps people away. There's a well-signed five trail junction just past the lake. For this hike, go straight ahead on to the Burroughs Mountain Trail.

The trail climbs the north side of First Burroughs Mountain. There are views to the north of Fremont Mountain, Berkeley Park, Skyscraper Mountain and scores of other distant ridges. The trail passes several rock walls and ever better views of Mount Rainier. After 0.7 miles of climbing, the trail reaches the summit of First Burroughs Mountain. You'll pass a junction with the Sunrise Rim Trail, then drop a bit to a saddle. Then the trail climbs about 300 feet in 0.6 miles to the summit of Second Burroughs Mountain. Spend some time here on the stone bench looking at the east face of Mount Rainier.

The Burroughs Mountain Trail continues from here downhill to Glacier Basin, but that's a long way down and a long way back up. If you want a smaller challenge, there's an unmaintained foot path that branches off the main trail and heads uphill for 800 feet to the summit of Third Burroughs Mountain. For this hike, though, turn back downhill and return to First Burroughs. Turn right on the Sunrise Rim Trail and head across the flat summit of First Burroughs.

The trail soon drops off the south side of the mountain. There are spectacular views down to the toe of the Emmons Glacier and the head of the White River. The trail drops into a pine forest, passes an improved viewpoint and enters some stunning subalpine wildflower meadows. Turn right at a junction with the Wonderland Trail at Sunrise Camp. Angle left at the next unmarked fork to visit tiny Shadow Lake. Past Shadow Lake the trail begins to gently climb through fields of lupine and asters. At the next trail junction, leave the Wonderland Trail and follow the left branch signed as the Sunrise Rim Trail. Soon, you'll see the parking lot at Sunrise. Turn left and walk a 100 foot long, signed spur trail to the lot itself.


Regulations or restrictions, etc

  • $25 National Park 7-day pass
  • Dogs aren't allowed on trails in the park

Trip Reports

Related Discussions / Q&A

Guidebooks that cover this hike

  • Washington Hikes by Scott Leonard
  • Pacific Northwest Hiking by Scott Leonard & Megan McMorris

More Links


Oregon Hikers Field Guide is built as a collaborative effort by its user community. While we make every effort to fact-check, information found here should be considered anecdotal. You should cross-check against other references before planning a hike. Trail routing and conditions are subject to change. Please contact us if you notice errors on this page.

Hiking is a potentially risky activity, and the entire risk for users of this field guide is assumed by the user, and in no event shall Trailkeepers of Oregon be liable for any injury or damages suffered as a result of relying on content in this field guide. All content posted on the field guide becomes the property of Trailkeepers of Oregon, and may not be used without permission.