- Rating: Strenuous
- Distance: About 9.0 miles RT
- Elevation Gain: 3,200 ft
- High Point: 5,935 ft
A tough climb topped with big views of the Mountain, the Mildred Point hike begins on the southwest side of Mount Rainier National Park off the trail to Rampart Ridge.
Most people take this trail out of Comet Falls. When we hiked this trail last November, we started near park HQ in Longmire on The Wonderland Trail. From this start, you’ll hit a trail junction off the Rampart Ridge trail about a mile or so in. The brown sign notes mileages for Mildred Point, Rampart Ridge and other destinations. Veer right and start climbing.
Much of the lower trail winds through conifer-choked forest. After the Van Trump Park junction, the trail steepens. A burbling brook slices through alpine meadows studded with wildflowers. The last half mile is narrow, rutted, and steep. Pause to stuff your lungs back into your chest and turn around for awesome views of Mount Adams.
The Mildred Point promontory offers magnificent, uncrowded views of the south side of the Mountain and the Kautz Glacier. If you time it right, you can watch the sun slide over the summit like a giant egg yolk.
Enter the park via the Nisqually (west) entrance, 13.5 miles east of Elbe on State Route 706. Continue north past Longmire to the parking area, about .4 miles north of Longmire. It’s on your right. Cross the street to join up with The Wonderland Trail towards Rampart Ridge and VanTrump Park, taking the spur trail to Mildred Point.