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Tatoosh Range, Mount Rainier National Park, Washington
Photo by Jason Thompson
RUNNER: Katie Bono of Canmore, Alberta, who set the women’s speed record on Mount Rainier in 2012 with a round-trip time of 4 hours 58 minutes.
BETA: The Pinnacle Peak-Plummer Peak Trail, located within Mount Rainier National Park, lies in the Tatoosh Range, which rises from 5,500 feet to nearly 7,000 feet above sea level. Starting at the Reflection Lake Trailhead via the Stevens Canyon Road, the trail gains 1150 feet, bringing you to a saddle between Pinnacle and Plummer peaks. Once you gain the Tatoosh Range ridge, the 360-degree views are stunning—to the north looms 14,410-foot Mount Rainier, and to the south lie the craggy peaks of the Goat Rocks Wilderness and the snowy volcanic cone of Mount Adams.
Turn around here and head back down for a three-mile round-trip scenic run or continue upward to the summits of Pinnacle Peak (6,562 feet) with some interesting class-4 to low class-5 rock scrambling, or Plummer Peak (6,370 feet) on easier terrain. Several established climber trails gain the peaks. The Pinnacle-Plummer Trail also accesses the long, strenuous Tatoosh Traverse.
DIFFICULTY: A continuous, moderate grade gains the 6000-foot saddle between Pinnacle and Plummer peaks. Summer or early fall are most enjoyable for this short run. The difficulty ratchets up significantly for ascents of Plummer and Pinnacle peaks.
INFO: MRNP is located 2.5 hours south of Seattle, Washington. Drive toward Paradise visitor center and take the Stevens Canyon Road. The trailhead is clearly marked with a pull out/parking area at Reflection Lake.