Mount Rainier National Park, Washington – Mount Burroughs / Emmons Glacier

From the visitor center area at Sunrise we could access the Mount Burroughs trail. Named after the naturalist John Burroughs (a contemprary of John Muir and Teddy Roosevelt and author of many fine books on the natural world) the Burroughs Mountains are a small range containing 3 peaks, 1st, 2nd, and 3rd Burroughs between the Emmons and Winthrop Glaciers, two of the largest glaciers on Mount Rainier. From sunrise we will hike 1st and 2nd Burroughs and hope to finally see some Mountain Goats up close and personally. Word is there are several herds hanging out in the area.

In the picture above Burroughs 1 & 2 are marked, as well as the trail back down to Sunrise. As you can see, much of the snow is gone in this area although there are still several rather large snowfields we will have to cross.

Frozen Lake

The Northern route which we will take out to Burroughs meets the Burroughs Trail at Frozen Lake (perhaps half frozen lake at this time of year)

The trail proceeds up along the flank of Burroughs 1 in a series of long switchbacks to gain altitude.

One of the snowfields we will have to cross. It doesn’t look like much but the slope of that snowfield is sufficient that falling would definitely mean a long slide if you had no means of arresting yourself. We have our hiking poles (an Ice Ax would be better) and figure they will be enough for these short crossings.

Looking down into Berkely Park, a plateaued valley north of Burroughs. It’s an especially lush valley and often filled with flowers at this time of year.

The upper slopes of First and Second Burroughs are mostly comprised of steep debris fields of hard slatelike rock. It’s difficult to walk on the unstable plates of rock and easy to stumble on, so we’re always thankful for well trod trails.

Even in this harsh environment the flowers always find a way to spring forth. It’s truly marvelous to walk along these forbidding mountain trails and find these meadows of brilliant wildflowers looking like someone had just planted them.

As we crested Second Burroughs we got this fantastic View of the climbing route from Glacier Basin. The large arrows outline the route up through the glaciers. The little arrow in the center points at 3 climbers crossing an Ice Fall on Emmons Glacier.

The Route Down.

Looking down into Glacier Basin from Burroughs 2. The Arrow shows the high point of our hike in Glacier Basin a couple of days ago.

Mountain Goats

Heading down on the south side of Burroughs 1 we finally found our goats. A small herd of 7, including 2 kids, was grazing away contentedly on the very sparse vegetation.

Looking back to the White River and the Campground from the Sunrise Rim Trail.


One response »

  1. Just absolutely beautiful, guys. One quickly runs out of superlatives, in following your posts. What an absolutely gorgeous section of this great country. As always, many many thanks for allowing us to tag along vicariously…(and to dream)

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Sharing our love of America's Natural Wonders


Sharing our love of America's Natural Wonders