Have visitors in town and looking for an easy hike? Have dogs and want to take them with you on a hike? How about young children that you would like to introduce to hiking or even have an overnight campout at a mountain lake? Try the hike to Sheep Lake, round trip of 3.6 miles with very modest elevation gain. The trailhead begins at the parking area just east of the summit of Chinook Pass. It traverses above the Chinook pass highway east before heading north to the lake. It's actually a short segment of the Pacific Crest Trail that goes from the Mexican border to Canada. It's also just outside of Mt. Rainier NP on Forest Service land - hence the opportunity to bring along your pets (on a leash please). The lake is crystal clear and surrounded by wildflowers and maybe a half dozen rough campsites (no campfires).
The brightness of the sun makes taking pictures of wildflowers pretty tough in the middle of the day, but they're there and so beautiful right now.
The trail is well maintained and easy to walk. The only downside is that it's narrow and tough to pass people, particularly on weekends. Here's a view from the bridge at the lake's outlet looking back south.
I went up last Sunday just for a quick hike and it was quite busy as one might expect. Both kids and dogs swimming in the lake to cool off.
On the way back, you can see the parking lot where you started at Chinook Pass and Naches Peak.
Easy short hike to a beautiful lake and generally forgotten except on weekends. And of course you can park here and hike on to Canada or Mexico.