Dege Peak & Sourdough Ridge Trail, Mt. Rainier Nat'l Park
Dege Peak can be tackled from east or west, but your best option is to start at the west end and climb eastward. Leave the Sunrise parking lot and start up the Sourdough Ridge trail. At the Y-junction found 0.2 mile from the parking lot, go right to angle east for 0.5 mile to the crest of Sourdough Ridge. There, you'll encounter a trail junction. Go right to continue your eastward heading, following the ridge that links Antler Peak, Sourdough Mountain, and Dege Peak. The trail stays on the south side of the ridge crest, but much of the time the trail is near the very top of the knife-edge ridge, so you'll have views north and south. Let the kids ramble out in front as they enjoy the views and look for marmots and mountain goats.
At about 1.9 miles out, a small side trail leads off to the left. This short spur (about 0.1 mile) climbs directly up to the 7006-foot summit of Dege Peak, on the crest of the Sourdough Mountains. Look for blobs of white on the rocky flanks below you--if the blobs move, they are mountain goats. If they don't move, they are probably mountain goats at rest. Bring a pair of binoculars to be sure.
Turn back after enjoying the 360-degree panoramic views from the summit. On the return hike, you'll enjoy nonstop views of Mount Rainier as you walk west.
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