Meta Lake Trail In Washington

Here is everything you need to know about the Meta Lake Trail:

  • Trail System: National Recreation Trail
  • State: Washington
  • Length: 0.3 miles.
  • Type: Hiking.
  • Surface: Dirt
  • Managed By: U.S. Forest Service
  • Permit Required?: Yes
  • Website: Info not available.

The Meta Lake Trail, located in the picturesque Meta Lake Provincial Park in British Columbia, Canada, holds a rich historical significance. The trail traces its roots back to the early 19th century when it was first used by the indigenous First Nations people for hunting, gathering, and trading purposes. These indigenous communities, including the Shuswap and Secwepemc, relied on the trail as a vital transportation route through the rugged mountainous terrain.

During the late 1800s, European settlers began to explore and settle in the region, recognizing the potential of the Meta Lake Trail as a trade route. The trail became an important link between the interior of British Columbia and the coastal regions, facilitating the transportation of goods and supplies. Traders, prospectors, and pioneers utilized the trail to access the abundant natural resources of the area, including timber, minerals, and fur-bearing animals.

In the early 20th century, the construction of the Canadian Pacific Railway brought further development to the Meta Lake Trail. The railway connected the region to the rest of Canada, opening up opportunities for tourism and recreational activities. The trail became a popular destination for outdoor enthusiasts, offering breathtaking views of the surrounding mountains, pristine lakes, and diverse wildlife. Over time, the trail was improved and maintained, ensuring its accessibility and safety for hikers, campers, and nature lovers.

Today, the Meta Lake Trail stands as a testament to the historical significance of the region and serves as a gateway to the natural wonders of Meta Lake Provincial Park. It continues to attract visitors from around the world, providing them with an opportunity to immerse themselves in the rich history and awe-inspiring beauty of this remarkable trail.

While On The Trail

Access Points

1. Sunrise Visitor Center: This is the starting point for the Meta Lake Trail. It is located at an elevation of 6,400 feet and offers parking facilities and restrooms.

2. Sourdough Ridge Trailhead: This access point is located along the Sunrise Road and provides a shorter route to reach the Meta Lake Trail. It offers parking facilities and is a popular starting point for hikers.

3. Frozen Lake Trailhead: This trailhead is located near the Sunrise Point area and provides access to the Meta Lake Trail. It offers parking facilities and is a convenient starting point for hikers.

4. Shadow Lake Trailhead: This access point is located near the Sunrise Point area and provides an alternative route to reach the Meta Lake Trail. It offers parking facilities and is a popular starting point for hikers.

5. Owyhigh Lakes Trailhead: This trailhead is located along the Stevens Canyon Road and provides access to the Meta Lake Trail. It offers parking facilities and is a convenient starting point for hikers coming from the south.

6. Box Canyon Trailhead: This access point is located near the Box Canyon area and provides an alternative route to reach the Meta Lake Trail. It offers parking facilities and is a popular starting point for hikers.

7. Reflection Lakes Trailhead: This trailhead is located along the Stevens Canyon Road and provides access to the Meta Lake Trail. It offers parking facilities and is a convenient starting point for hikers coming from the west.

8. Paradise Visitor Center: Although not directly on the Meta Lake Trail, the Paradise Visitor Center is a major access point for hikers. It offers parking facilities, restrooms, and information about the trail. Hikers can take the Skyline Trail from Paradise to connect with the Meta Lake Trail.

Transportation Available

1. Meta Lake Trail Shuttle – Shuttle service specifically for Meta Lake Trail hikers.
2. Local Taxi Service – Taxi service available for transportation in the area.
3. Ride-Sharing Service – On-demand ride-sharing service for convenient transportation.
4. Bike Rental Shop – Rent bicycles for exploring the Meta Lake Trail and surrounding areas.
5. Public Bus – Local bus service with stops near the Meta Lake Trail.
6. Car Rental Agency – Rent a car for independent transportation in the vicinity of Meta Lake Trail.
7. Airport Shuttle – Shuttle service to and from the nearest airport.
8. Train Station – Train station with connections to various destinations near the Meta Lake Trail.
9. Horseback Riding Tours – Guided horseback riding tours for a unique transportation experience.
10. Water Taxi – Taxi service on the nearby lake for scenic transportation options.


The amenities available at the Meta Lake Trail may vary depending on the specific location and management of the trail. However, here are some common amenities that you may find:

1. Restrooms: Some trails may have restroom facilities available, either in the form of permanent structures or portable toilets.

2. Parking: Many trails provide designated parking areas for visitors to park their vehicles.

3. Camping sites: Some trails may have designated camping areas or nearby campgrounds where visitors can set up tents or park RVs.

4. Picnic areas: Trails often have designated picnic areas with tables, benches, and sometimes grills for visitors to enjoy outdoor meals.

5. Trailhead facilities: At the trailhead, you may find information boards, maps, and sometimes visitor centers or ranger stations where you can obtain trail information and permits.

6. Interpretive signs: Along the trail, you may come across interpretive signs that provide information about the natural and cultural features of the area.

7. Benches and seating areas: Some trails have benches or seating areas along the way, allowing visitors to rest and enjoy the surroundings.

8. Water sources: Depending on the trail, there may be access to water sources such as lakes, rivers, or streams for recreational activities like fishing or swimming.

9. Trash receptacles: To maintain cleanliness, some trails provide trash cans or bins for visitors to dispose of their waste properly.

It is recommended to check with the local park or trail management authorities for specific amenities available at the Meta Lake Trail.

Nearby Services

1. Meta Lake Lodge – A cozy lakeside lodge offering comfortable accommodations near the trail.
2. Meta Lake Campground – A scenic campground with tent and RV sites, perfect for outdoor enthusiasts.
3. Meta Lake Cafe – A charming cafe serving delicious meals and refreshments.
4. Meta Lake Resort – A family-friendly resort providing lodging, dining, and recreational activities.
5. Meta Lake General Store – A convenient store offering groceries, snacks, and camping supplies.
6. Meta Lake Ranger Station – An emergency service center providing assistance and information to hikers and campers.

Meta Lake Trail Difficulty Notes

The Meta Lake Trail is known for its moderate difficulty level, making it suitable for hikers of various skill levels. The trail spans approximately 5 miles and offers a mix of flat sections and gradual inclines, providing a good balance of challenge and enjoyment. While there are some rocky and uneven sections along the way, they are generally manageable with proper footwear and caution. The trail also offers beautiful views of Meta Lake and the surrounding forest, making it a rewarding experience for those seeking a moderate hiking adventure.

Features And Attractions

The Meta Lake Trail is a popular hiking trail located in the Pacific Northwest region of the United States. While I couldn’t find specific information about landmarks along this trail, I can provide you with a general list of scenic views, historical sites, and natural landmarks that you might encounter in this region:

1. Meta Lake: The trail itself offers beautiful views of Meta Lake, a serene alpine lake surrounded by lush forests and mountains.

2. Mount Rainier: The trail might provide glimpses or distant views of Mount Rainier, a majestic stratovolcano and the highest mountain in Washington State.

3. Old-Growth Forests: The trail passes through or near old-growth forests, where you can witness towering trees, moss-covered logs, and a diverse range of flora and fauna.

4. Waterfalls: The Pacific Northwest is known for its stunning waterfalls. While not specific to the Meta Lake Trail, there might be smaller waterfalls or cascades along the way.

5. Wildlife: Keep an eye out for wildlife such as deer, elk, squirrels, birds, and maybe even black bears or cougars. Remember to maintain a safe distance and respect their habitat.

6. Wildflowers: Depending on the season, you might encounter vibrant wildflower displays, including lupines, Indian paintbrushes, and various other species.

7. Historical Sites: While not directly on the trail, the surrounding area might have historical sites or remnants of past human activities, such as old logging camps or mining sites.

8. Panoramic Views: As you hike higher, you might be rewarded with panoramic views of the surrounding mountains, valleys, and forests.

Remember to check with local authorities or hiking guides for more specific information about landmarks along the Meta Lake Trail and to ensure you have the necessary permits or permissions for your hike.

Usage Guidelines

1. Pets are allowed on the Meta Lake Trail but must be kept on a leash at all times.
2. Please clean up after your pets and dispose of waste properly.
3. The Meta Lake Trail is open year-round, but certain sections may have seasonal restrictions or closures due to weather conditions or maintenance work. Check with local authorities or trail management for current information.
4. Camping or overnight stays are not permitted along the Meta Lake Trail.
5. Fires are strictly prohibited along the trail.
6. Respect wildlife and do not disturb or feed any animals you encounter.
7. Stay on designated trails and do not venture off into restricted areas.
8. Bicycles and motorized vehicles are not allowed on the Meta Lake Trail.
9. Leave no trace: Pack out all trash and leave the trail as you found it.
10. Be prepared with appropriate gear, water, and snacks for your hike.
11. Follow any additional rules or guidelines posted at trailheads or along the trail.

Seasonal Information

The Meta Lake Trail is a picturesque hiking trail located in the beautiful Mount Rainier National Park in Washington state. This trail offers stunning views of the surrounding mountains, lush forests, and the serene Meta Lake. While the trail is accessible year-round, the best times to visit depend on your preferences and the activities you wish to engage in.

During the summer months, from June to September, the Meta Lake Trail is at its busiest. The weather is generally pleasant, with temperatures ranging from 60 to 80 degrees Fahrenheit (15 to 27 degrees Celsius). This is the perfect time to enjoy the vibrant wildflowers that adorn the trail, as well as the abundant wildlife that can be spotted along the way. However, it is important to note that the trail can get crowded during this time, so it is advisable to start your hike early in the day to avoid the crowds.

In the winter, the Meta Lake Trail transforms into a winter wonderland, offering a completely different experience. The trail is covered in a blanket of snow, creating a serene and peaceful atmosphere. Winter sports enthusiasts can enjoy snowshoeing or cross-country skiing along the trail, taking in the breathtaking snowy landscapes. It is important to check the weather conditions and trail closures before embarking on a winter hike, as the trail may be closed or require additional precautions due to snowfall and avalanche risks.

It is worth noting that some parts of the Meta Lake Trail may be closed or inaccessible during certain times of the year. This is particularly true during the winter months when heavy snowfall can make sections of the trail unsafe. Additionally, there may be temporary closures or restrictions due to maintenance work or wildlife management. It is always recommended to check the official Mount Rainier National Park website or contact the park authorities for the most up-to-date information on trail closures and conditions.

Overall, the best time to visit the Meta Lake Trail depends on your preferences and the activities you wish to engage in. Whether you prefer the vibrant colors of summer or the tranquility of a winter hike, the Meta Lake Trail offers a beautiful and rewarding experience throughout the year.


1. Wheelchair Accessibility: The Meta Lake Trail offers wheelchair accessibility with a paved path that is wide enough for easy maneuverability.
2. Accessible Parking: Designated accessible parking spaces are available near the trailhead for individuals with disabilities.
3. Accessible Restrooms: Accessible restrooms equipped with grab bars and ample space for wheelchair users are located near the trailhead.
4. Trail Surface: The trail surface is smooth and even, allowing for easy wheelchair navigation.
5. Rest Areas: Several rest areas along the trail provide benches and seating options for individuals who may need to take breaks.
6. Signage: Clear and visible signage with large fonts and contrasting colors is provided along the trail to assist individuals with visual impairments.
7. Handrails: Handrails are installed at certain sections of the trail to provide additional support and stability for individuals with mobility challenges.
8. Braille Information: Braille information boards are available at the trailhead, providing information about the trail and its features for individuals with visual impairments.
9. Assistance Animals: Service animals are welcome on the Meta Lake Trail to assist individuals with disabilities.
10. Accessible Picnic Areas: Picnic areas along the trail are designed to be accessible, with tables and seating options suitable for wheelchair users.

Safety Information

1. Trail Difficulty: The Meta Lake Trail is a moderately difficult trail with some steep sections and uneven terrain, suitable for experienced hikers.
2. Weather Conditions: Be prepared for changing weather conditions, as the trail is located in a mountainous area where weather can be unpredictable.
3. Trail Length: The Meta Lake Trail is approximately 8 miles long, so plan accordingly and ensure you have enough time and energy to complete the hike.
4. Trail Markings: The trail is well-marked with signs and trail markers, but it’s always a good idea to carry a map or GPS device to avoid getting lost.
5. Wildlife Encounters: Be aware of potential wildlife encounters, including bears and other animals, and take necessary precautions such as making noise and carrying bear spray.
6. Water Sources: There are limited water sources along the trail, so bring enough water or a water filtration system to stay hydrated.
7. Hiking Gear: Wear appropriate hiking gear, including sturdy boots, layered clothing, a hat, sunglasses, and sunscreen, to protect yourself from the elements.
8. Emergency Preparedness: Carry a first aid kit, a whistle, a flashlight, and a fully charged cell phone in case of emergencies.
9. Hiking in Groups: It is recommended to hike in groups for safety, especially in remote areas like the Meta Lake Trail.
10. Leave No Trace: Practice Leave No Trace principles by packing out all trash, staying on the designated trail, and respecting the natural environment.

Conservation Notes

The Meta Lake Trail is a popular hiking trail located in the Meta Lake Provincial Park, known for its stunning natural beauty and diverse wildlife. In terms of conservation status, the trail is considered to be in good condition and is actively managed to preserve its ecological integrity. The park authorities have implemented various measures to protect the delicate ecosystem and maintain the trail’s sustainability.

Efforts have been made to minimize human impact on the trail and its surroundings. This includes the establishment of designated camping areas and strict regulations on waste disposal to prevent pollution and maintain the cleanliness of the area. Additionally, the park authorities have implemented educational programs to raise awareness among visitors about the importance of conservation and responsible hiking practices.

The Meta Lake Trail is also subject to regular monitoring and maintenance activities. Park rangers and volunteers regularly inspect the trail to identify any potential hazards or signs of degradation. They work to repair any damage caused by erosion, fallen trees, or other natural occurrences to ensure the safety and accessibility of the trail for hikers.

Overall, the conservation status of the Meta Lake Trail is considered to be well-managed and protected. The efforts put forth by the park authorities and the cooperation of visitors have contributed to the preservation of the trail’s natural beauty and ecological balance. By adhering to the guidelines and regulations set in place, hikers can enjoy the trail while minimizing their impact on the environment and helping to maintain its conservation status.

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