The consistent grade of this trail makes it a good moderate choice for attaining the upper reaches of Rainier's southern flank. Starting from the western end of the lower (non-visitor center) parking lot, find the steps leading north. At the 3-way junction with the Nisqually Vista
Trail, choose the right-hand option to head northeast on the Dead Horse Creek Trail. The path begins in the Dead Horse Creek valley and soon intersects the Avalanche Lilly
Trail and crosses its namesake burbling brook. Keep a lookout for wildlife here, bears are frequently sighted along the creek. Pass through clumps of trees, inviting meadows and surmount some patches of snow.
After the junction with the Waterfall
Trail, the trail steepens to attain a ridge. For the remaining length of this trail, Dead Horse Creek and Edith Creek lie in the eastern valley below, Nisqually River resides in the valley to the west, and the trail climbs in between. At at small saddle, the detour-worthy Moraine
Trail veers off to the west (left) and the Dead Horse Creek Trail continues northwards along the snowy crest. After some less steep travel, the Dead Horse Creek Trail ends at a junction with the popular Skyline Trail
Black bears, marmot, deer. Bugs.