National Parks/Monuments

Tipsoo Lake | Mount Rainer

(Last Updated On: October 7, 2021)

Tipsoo Lake is a short, beautiful hike in Mount Rainier National Park. The hike is a small loop, just 0.8 miles around a pretty lake. Though wheels would not be able to make this hike, it is appropriate for all ages and skill levels due to how flat and simple it is.

Tipsoo Lake is located in the northeast corner of the national park. In order to reach the trailhead, you need to travel out toward the White River entrance, but only for a few miles. There is a large parking area as there are several other trails in the area, but we didn’t have trouble parking at Tipsoo Lake, even on the weekend.

The trail starts on either side of this sign. We took the trail on the right.

The most difficult part of this simple walk is locating the correct path. There is a map at the trailhead, and we took a picture of it before setting on this hike. This is because there is a small pond next to Tipsoo Lake, and there are trails around both, which cross each other in several places. 

The route we took around Tipsoo Lake was counter-clockwise. We started on the trail to the far right when facing the lake. This is the correct trail, and if you start on the inner trail, you’ll only make it around the small pond. The trail takes a little wider berth away from the shore of the lake, and you can actually see cars on the road for about the first 50 meters. After that, the trail goes down to the shore. Then it follows the edge of the lake.

This is the small pond before Tipsoo Lake.
The wildflowers were beautiful along this trail in August.
The Tipsoo Lake trail walks along the edge of the lake.

Tipsoo Lake sits in a beautiful meadow. You may be lucky enough to spot a black-tailed deer or a hoary marmot, but it is more likely that you’ll see a chipmunk or one of the many ground squirrels in Mount Rainier National Park. The lake is beautiful, and on a clear day, you can take some really nice reflection pictures as well.

The mist blocked the view of the mountains, but it was still a lovely trail.
We enjoyed the trail around Tipsoo Lake.

This hike is an easy way to spend a half an hour in a different section of the park, so be sure to give it a try! Add Tipsoo Lake in Mount Rainer to your list. This is also the beginning of the Naches Peak Loop trail, which we had planned to do, but it was rainy. Naches Peak is 3.5 miles roundtrip and moderate. Read more on the National Park site about this trail. If you are looking for other ideas in Mount Rainer, check out our family guide on this National Park.

Tipsoo Lake normally has a great view of Mount Rainer. We can’t wait to come back and see it!

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