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Dege Peak

Mount Rainier Area

Location

Mount Rainier Area -- NE - Sunrise/White River
View map below

Length

4.0 miles, roundtrip

Elevation

Gain: 600 ft.
Highest Point: 7006 ft.

Rating

4.00 out of 5

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Parking Pass/Entry Fee

National Park Pass
 
 

Unlike many of the trails out of Sunrise Visitor Center that lead you closer to the hulking presence of Mount Rainier, Dege Peak walks you just far enough away from the mountain to get a little perspective. With stunning 360-degree views ranging from nearby Cowlitz Chimneys to the far-off peaks of Mount St. Helens, Mount Adams, Glacier Peak and Mount Baker, this perch above Sourdough Ridge is terrific for an easy alpine stroll on a clear day.

From the parking lot at Sunrise, head north (past the restrooms) up a large set of stairs towards Sourdough Ridge. A gentle climb through Yakima Park takes you to a well-signed Y-intersection. Head east (right) away from Mount Rainier, and climb about a half a mile on a broad trail up to the ridge.

From the ridge, you’ll get a glimpse down into beautiful Huckleberry Basin before hiking under the small knoll of Antler Peak. Once past Antler, your views to the north will open up again. Take a short break here to enjoy the vista, listen for marmot whistles, and hang on to little hiker’s hand (if you're with them), as the saddle drops off sharply here.

About two miles from the trailhead, a spur trail leading north (left) will climb the last 200 feet to Dege Peak. This small summit is a terrific place for a leisurely picnic (unless it’s a busy day, when good etiquette calls for letting others have their chance to enjoy the summit for a few minutes). In addition to spotting volcanoes and looking for Fremont Lookout, you can gaze out at Sunrise Ridge curving to the northeast and the string of lakes cradled in the alluring basin below. These can be explored on your next visit via the Palisades Trail.

When your feet start itching again, it’s time to return the way you came. You can continue on another 1.2 miles and descend to the parking lot at Sunrise Point (the hairpin point in the road), but you’ve already seen the best of this trail in the first two miles. The return trip is when you can really take in the majesty of Mount Rainier. Snap photo after photo or trace the long white and blue tongue of Emmons Glacier up to the summit.

On your way back to the trailhead, you’ll also have fine views down into the meadows of Yakima Park, where Sunrise Visitor Center is situated. Seeing where you're headed will be good motivation for any tired hikers in your group. As you gaze down on the broad slopes thick in summer wildflowers or golden fall grasses, it’s easy to see why the wide, welcoming area has drawn people to it for 4,000 years.

The history of Yakima Park is both fascinating and fraught—be sure to stop into Visitor Center to learn more and see early photos. Early management of the National Park largely ended the seasonal hunting and gathering by the Yakama Nation here.

By the 1930’s, the road to Sunrise—and extensive development of more than 200 cabins and the lodge—opened the area to white tourists. By the end of WWII, the park service had decommissioned most of the structures and camping facilities. In the decades since, extensive rehabilitation has restored the delicate alpine meadows, the only camping allowed is along the Wonderland Trail, and the area draws visitors from all over the world.

WTA Pro Tip: Sunrise Road is only open between midsummer and early fall, and the parking lot fills up early. The road is usually clear of snow by early July, and stays open through October. Check the road status and expected weather before you head out. You can even check the Sunrise webcam views of the parking lot and views at nps.gov/mora.

 

Dege Peak

Map & Directions

Trailhead
Co-ordinates: 46.9146, -121.6423 Open map in new window

Trailhead

Mount Rainier Area -- NE - Sunrise/White River

Mount Rainier National Park

See weather forecast

Guidebooks & Maps

Day Hiking: Mt. Rainier National Park Trails (Nelson & Bauer - Mountaineers Books)

Green Trails Mount Rainier East No. 270

Getting There

From the White River Entrance of Mount Rainier National Park, take the Sunrise Road up a series of winding hairpins. On the last hairpin, you will pass Sunrise Point parking lot. Continue on to the final parking lot, marked by the Lodge.

While you can hike to Dege Peak from Sunrise Point, the facilities at Sunrise Visitor Center and the approach make the case for a Sunrise Visitor Center approach. Facilities at Sunrise include flush toilets, a small gift shop and a snack bar and grill that’s open July-Labor Day.

Parking Pass/Entry Fee

National Park Pass
 

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Dege Peak

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