A beautiful lake ideal for fishing
A stunning view of Mount Rainier
A logging and steam railroad museum
On the Road to Rainier Scenic Byway, Mineral is at the end of a short spur off the main scenic byway loop. In Elbe, take Highway 7 South, to the right, across the Nisqually River toward Mineral and Morton. After 3.7 miles, turn left on Mineral Rd. North (avoid Mineral Hill Rd.) and follow Mineral Rd. North 1.5 miles into Mineral.
Mineral Lake, in the heart of town, is tucked into mountains with an eye-popping view of Mount Rainier. Underneath this serene lake swims an angler’s dream. The lake is stocked with brown and rainbow trout, coastal cutthroat, and large-mouth bass. Decomposed timber from the old lumber mills provides nutrients to the lake and its fish. The kickoff of fishing season each spring is a celebration with a popular fishing derby where sometimes the catch is a 10-pound trout.
Mount Rainier Railroad and Logging Museum After boarding an antique locomotive in Elbe, you’ll arrive in Mineral to explore the railroad’s extensive museum before returning to Elbe. The museum grounds include six history-filled logging camp buildings from the early 1920s and an expansive collection of steam logging locomotives. Museum admission is included in the cost of the train ride. For information on driving directly to the museum, please visit their website.
The railroad’s regular runs are from late spring through fall. Special, event-themed runs include Santa Express, Pumpkin Express, Washington Wine Express, and others.
Also in Mineral you’ll find a market, post office, tavern, an old school that now hosts community events, and churches. Accommodation choices include camping, cabins, a fishing resort, and lodges, one of them on the National Register of Historic Places.
Mount Rainier Visitor Association serves the areas of Mineral, Ashford, and Elbe and provides information on lodging, dining, and activities. Discover Lewis County provides visitor information for all of Lewis County including Mineral.
Mineral School is a multi-disciplinary artist residency and arts center. The school hosts artists in residence and also holds public arts events including readings, music, and dance, and an annual arts and crafts fair.
Mineral is named for the gold that prospectors had hoped to find but didn’t. Instead, the town flourished in the early 1900s as a logging camp and sawmill. When those operations ended, the town lost much of its population, and it remains a very small mountain community today.