Pinnacle Peak is a short, fun, and family-friendly hike, located in the Paradise area of Mt. Rainier National Park. On Washington Trail Association (WTA), they call this hike Pinnacle Saddle.
Location: Mount Rainier Area
Distance: 2.5 mi.+ (about 2+ hours)
The + sign means you can actually keep exploring beyond the paved trail sign which then leads to a portal aka the Pinnacle Saddle. Just be careful if you turn left to hike up to the peaks and hike with caution because of loose rocks. I’d highly recommend taking the right turn when you see ‘the end of the paved road’ Pinnacle Peak sign and hike a few miles ahead. Enjoy the views of Mt. Adams in the distance, the wildflowers, and turn back from where you came from.
Gain: 1000 ft. Highest Point: 5,920 ft.
Parking Pass/Entry Fee: National Park Pass (I have America the Beautiful annual pass). Parking is at Reflection Lakes, and the trailhead is across the street from there. Note that there is no toilet here, so plan ahead. You can drive to the Paradise visitor center for that, and it’s located about 8 minutes away. Lookup for what’s open in Mt. Rainier before you go, HERE.
- If you’re coming from Seattle, head South on I5 and follow Google GPS to Reflection Lakes. Park at Reflection Lakes parking lot, take a stroll to the lakes before starting the hike. The trail entrance is just across the street!
PRO-TIPS: Help pickup garbage you see on the trails. Please pack it out, including toilet paper and food. Watch out for bugs if you do this hike in the summer!
Lastly, lots of people say they finish the Pinnacle Peak hike in 1.5 hours, but I highly recommend you to take time and not rush it. Don’t forget to take a lot of photos and look around since Mt. Rainier looks different in every lighting situation, especially around sunrise and sunset hour. It’s a beautiful hike and much more quiet than many hikes in the Paradise area for sure!
I completed the Pinnacle Peak hike on August 29th, 2020, and to my surprise, there were still plenty of wildflower meadows to see. Paranoma Point in the Skyline Trail is another great hike that I’ve done in the Paradise area. The view of Mt. Rainier here is unbeatable!