It is no secret that the Pacific Northwest or PNW as we call it offers plenty of hikes that are scenic, breathtakingly beautiful and yet adventurous enough (for that testosterone side of yours)- a deal not very hard to find in the state of Washington. Mount Fremont LookOut trail is just one of those kind of hikes.
After a sabbatical of about three months that actually engulfed our entire summer where we were doing house hunting and all that STUFF, we were desperately in need of a hike to cater to that mostly subdued-adventurous side of ours and Mount Fremont LookOut Trail proved to be just the kind of a hike we needed. Oh and before we get into the details of the hike, I need to tell you a story of this lady we met on the hike.
While going up the hike, we met this old lady (about early fifties) coming back from the hike, we said hello and she responded. And then without a breath wasted, she told us this amazing, heartfelt, personal story of hers that I wanted to hug her afterwards. She had gone up to spread the ashes of her father and she found her father’s favorite quote written at the LookOut (I couldn’t find it though-the LookOut was locked). And while she told her story, there was this endearing moment between us. She thanked us to for listening to her story and wished us a good hike as she carried on.
Mount Fremont LookOut Trail
Having hiked the famous Skyline Trail of Mount Rainier all the way up to the snow fields, we wanted to explore other hikes of the area that were less rigorous and can be an easy day hike (Umtanum Canyon Hike, took a toll on my knees and I was sore for next two days). Mount Fremont Lookout is just about that kind of a hike. It is one of the many other trails that surround Mount Rainier and is an easy, beautiful, well maintained hike of about 3.5 miles round trip distance.
Pros and Cons of Mount Fremont LookOut Trail
- Close to Seattle: About two hours drive
- Well Maintained Hike: We found volunteers hauling and breaking rocks to create and maintain the trail
- Not very strenuous: It is about 3.8 miles with not very serious ascend (Again, depends on individual’s fitness level)
- Wildlife Present: We got to see a mountain goat and the chipmunks were wandering around
- Amazing Views: The hike offers superb view (Mount Rainier looks right at the eye level). The LookOut at the end is amazing and Frozen lake is sparkling.
- Well maintained Visitor Center at the parking lot with snacks and food services and restrooms available.
Well, this is Rainier Hike. Are you kidding me? There can’t be any Cons. But if you really insist, here is the list.
- Bugs: All the way to the top, they will follow you
- People: It can get a bit crowded
- Entry Fee: Be ready to pay the entrance fee to the park. It was about $25.00 valid for a week.
Points to Consider
The key for this hike I found out is to start early. Primarily, to avoid crowd (it got crowded as the day progressed) and secondly, the LookOut at the end of the hike is for all yours to enjoy.
The trail begins from the parking lot of the visitor center and a pit stop is recommended at the Frozen Lake about a mile from the start. It is formed from the gradual melting of snow. The blue water looked magnificent when sun rays fell on it-just like sparkling diamonds. This also serves to be a junction point where many other trail heads spread out.
The Lookout on Mount Fremont Trail is about 1.8 miles of hike from the Frozen Lake and the trail becomes narrow with ascend. When you reach at the Lookout, you can go up the stairs and sit for a while on the wooden patio that goes around the LookOut and enjoy your snacks. If you are lucky enough, you might be able to see some wildlife-I got to see a mountain goat. Other hikers report of seeing a bear in the area.
Overall, this is a great day hike. Very well maintained and suited for kids as well.