A beautiful display of subalpine wildflowers, an amazing waterfall, and great views of the peaks, Skyline Trail offers all this and more. This amazing trail is located near Paradise Inn, Washington, and is considered one of the most beautiful trails in the region.
It’s a 9.4km out and back trail with an elevation gain of 543m. The hike is considered moderate, so you can take your family with you. But, still, you should be well-prepared to have the best experience. The best months to hike the trail are July and August, as you would get amazing views of the waterfall, glaciers, and meadows.
The hike begins from the trailhead, located near the Jackson Visitor Center. It starts on the stone steps and gains little elevation until you reach several trail junctions. If you don’t have a map with you, pick one from the Jackson Visitor Center, to make things easy for yourself.
Head north, and follow the sign for Skyline Trail. Soon, you would reach trail junctions; you will see the Waterfall Trail and Dead-Horse Creek Trail. If it’s a wildflower season, you can take the waterfall trail, but otherwise, you should continue straight on the trail.
The first part is a bit steep, but it becomes a bit easier after 0.4 miles. As the intensity decreases, you would come across a couple of trails. Keep right and pass through rock staircases and there you would see stunning views of the Tahoma or great white mountain, a 14,410-foot tall peak.
Soon, you would pass by Glacier Vista, a spot famous among hikers for photoshoots. Standing at 6,289 feet, Glacier Vista is the last point for some hikers, who don’t want to hike the next, a bit tough part of the trail. So, from that point onward, expect fewer hikers, but, beware of the hoary marmots. The Mount Rainier might lure you into de-tracking from the trail, but you are recommended to stay on the trail and don’t go near the wildlife.
After half a mile you will get to the junction for Pebble Creek and Camp Muir. Continue from there and you will reach the Panorama Point. From the Panorama point, you can get clear and amazing views of the Paradise Valley and nearby mountains.