- This trail leads five and a half miles northwestward from Sunrise to the Mt. Fremont fire lookout. The route is essentially a ridge walk with the last few miles above tree line. This is an easy hike with a total elevation gain of 800 feet. On sunny summer weekends expect to see crowds of people sharing your views of the Cascades and Mt. Rainier.
From the trailhead in the northern area of the Sunrise parking area, near the restrooms walk northward on a paved path. The trail begins by climbing slowly along a dirt tread that leads to the right. A few minutes from the trailhead is a junction with the Sourdough Ridge Nature Trail. Follow this trail a short distance to the Sourdough Ridge Trail leading west.
The trail ascends slowly along the ridge to a trail junction, approximately one half mile from the trailhead. This is the Huckleberry Creek Trail, which leads north along the eastern base of Mt. Fremont. At this junction bear left and continue walking westward along the Sourdough Ridge Trail.
Nearly one mile from the Huckleberry Creek Trail you'll pass the southern shore of Frozen Lake and reach a five-way trail intersection. The first trail leading right will take you to the Mt. Fremont Lookout. Turn right and hike past the western shore of Frozen Lake in a relatively flat basin. Once past the lake the trail begins to climb steadily, reaching a high point of 7,200 feet in less than a half mile. You'll be hiking along a rocky ridge crest for more than a mile to the fire lookout. This portion of the trail provides spectacular views of Mt. Rainier and the National Park and National Forest lands north of the trail. The last portion of the trail descends slightly to the lookout. This trail climbs for 0.3 mile, then follows Sourdough Ridge west. At 1.5 miles, just past Frozen Lake, you'll find a five-way junction. From there, the trail traverses the west side of a rocky ridge for another 1.3 miles to a fire lookout built in the 1930s.
Along the Trail The entire trail from Sunrise to the lookout is through meadowland and over rocky crags. On a clear day hikers can enjoy superb views of Mount Rainier, the Cascades and the Olympic Mountains. North of the lookout lie the spectacular meadows of Grand Park.
Backpacking: The closest camps to Mount Fremont Lookout are located near Sunrise and at the northern end of Berkeley Park. There is no camping at or around the lookout itself. Permits are required for camping. Permits and current trail conditions are available park-wide from Wilderness Information Centers, Ranger Stations, and Visitor Centers. Fires are prohibited. No pets on trails. Treat water before drinking.