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Plummer Peak is a rounded summit just SW of Pinnacle Peak. Plummer involves a 2nd class .25-mi heather scramble from trail's end at the saddle.
Another prominent, if lesser, peak in the Tatoosh Traverse, Denman, lies just northwest of Plummer Peak, and just east of Lane Peak. Denman is an easy scramble and has great views of the surrounding peaks and Mt. Rainier across the valley to the north. This peak is slightly harder than Plummer Peak.
This is more of a hike than a climb but with the benefits; the views are incredible! Mt Rainier is right there and all the other peaks in the Tatoosh range are surrounding.
We will climb Plummer Peak and then partially descend and hike the ridge over to Denman. Both climbs are class 3 climbing which means typically not using your hands.
There is an option to drive up Thursday afternoon and stay in my cabin near the trailhead. Or you can leave Portland at 5am and meet the rest of the team at my cabin. We will combine into 1-2 cars since we will be charged going into Mt Rainier National Forest per car.
Meeting time, carpooling, and driving directions:
Carpooling is strongly encouraged.
Please contact the leader the week before the climb and share your transportation plans.
527 SE 43rd Ave, Portland, OR 97215
Get on I-84 E/US-30 E from SE 41st Ave and NE Cesar E Chavez Blvd/César E. Chávez Blvd
5 min (1.3 mi)
Follow I-205 N and I-5 N to US-12 E in Lewis County. Take exit 68 from I-5 N
1 h 13 min (79.6 mi)
Follow US-12 E to Packwood
1 h 17 min (68.6 mi)
Please meet at my cabin Thursday night by 9 pm or Friday morning by 7:30 am.
Plummer Peak Approach, climb, and descent:
This small peak makes for an excellent day trip/hike while at Mount Rainier. It is a popular outing for all skill levels, and is a refreshing alternative to the crowded trails above Paradise. Enter the park from the Steven’s Canyon Entrance. The hike overall is simple, although it may be strenuous for those unaccustomed to steep trails or hiking in general. The last section, may require a small amount of scrambling and easy snow travel, but is still simple, fun and safe. This hike can easily be done in 5 hours or less, and is frequently done in tennis shoes and such. I would highly recommend it for anyone who wants an enjoyable hike with awesome views of Mount Rainier, Adams, Goat Rocks, St. Helens and the rest of the Southern Cascades. The mountain is named after Fred G. Plummer who was a Forest Service cartographer. He taught geography in Tacoma Public Schools.
From Packwood drive east on Highway 12 and take a left on Highway 123. After entering the park via the Steven’s Canyon entrance, follow Steven’s Canyon Road to a roadside parking area overlooking Reflection Lake. Across the road is the trailhead for the Pinnacle Peak Trail at an elevation of 4,885 feet. Upon leaving the trailhead, the trail continues gaining elevation until the Pinnacle-Plummer Saddle at 5,950 feet over a distance of 1.3 miles. The first half is along a well beaten trail through the forest and brings you to some small run offs from the Pinnacle Glacier and other snow fields. The second half is a mix of a dirt and rock trail, involving a few switchbacks, finally reaching the Pinnacle-Plummer Saddle. At this point the "maintained" trail ends and you must head off to your right (west) and find a good boot path that takes you 400 more feet up to the summit of Plummer Peak. This last section takes 20 or less minutes and is considered an easy scramble. You may have to cross a small snowfield and continue up a small section of loose rock before reaching the big snowfield. Here you may either climb the rocky trail to your left or ascend directly up the field. Either way, you should meet up again with the trail at the top of the snowfield and tackle the last 100 or so of easy rock/trail scramble to the top. The summit is a 50 X 15 foot patch of rock with excellent views of Rainier to the north, the rest of the Tatoosh range around you, and Mt. Adams, the Goat Rocks Wilderness and other mountains to your south and east. The total ascent is approx. 2,500 feet.
We plan on leaving my cabin at 8:00am. The trailhead is inside the Mt Rainer National Park. The entrance fee is $30 per visit per car or $55 for an annual pass. Obviously, it would be advantageous to go in one car.
Denman Peak Approach, climb, and descent:
Denman Peak is located in the Tatoosh range along the southern boundary of Mt. Rainier National Park in Washington State. Another prominent, if lesser, peak in the Tatoosh Traverse, Denman, lies just northwest of Plummer Peak, and just east of Lane Peak. Denman is an easy scramble and has great views of the surrounding peaks and Mt. Rainier across the valley to the north. This peak is a slight notch harder than Plummer (e.g. off-trail) and likely receives fewer visitors. The easiest approach is via the Pinnacle Peak trail and following a user path across the north shoulder of Plummer.
|Driving Distance from Portland||160 miles|
|Driving Time from Portland||3 hours|
|Expected Duration||Car to car in one day|
|Relevant Books||Cascade Alpine Guide: Columbia River to Stevens Pass by Fred Beckey 75 Scrambles in Washington by Peggy Goldman|
|Relevant Maps||USGS 7 ½ minute series, Tatoosh Lakes and Mt. Rainier East; Green Trails: Mt Rainier East / Packwood|