Kirk and I took Walker for his first trip to Mt. Rainier NP on Sunday (with big brother Ford as well!)
This is the entrance to the Carbon River side, the end of the road and the start of the near 5 mile road/trail walk along the river and through the rain forest. Rainier decided to allow bikes when they closed the road so yay for jogger strollers.
If you are a long time reader you know how much I love being in the Carbon area. It isn’t what people think of as “Rainier” overall – no views, deep forest but most of all a quiet soothing feeling interrupted by birds and squirrels and the cleanest air that tastes incredible as you breathe. I have said it many times that I am a fan of the Park Service closing the road (for now it appears to be permanent) and turning the flood damaged road into a multi use trail. I never enjoyed the drive when the road was still there – it was always deeply rutted from seasonal floods (the road is lower than the river in some areas! and has many feeder streams coming off the ridges that flank the road). It is a gorgeous hike that every year since the fall of 2006 is attracting more and more hikers (and bikers) to come enjoy it. Still, the crowds are low compared to hikes closer to Seattle (darn).
Another thing that makes this such a worthy hike is the trees – they are the trees people dream of seeing. You just don’t see them on the way to the park due to the many clearcuts
Walker and I in front of a tree that had once fallen over the old road:
We went out a couple miles (maybe 2 or so) and then headed back. We didn’t want to overdo it for Walker.
The washouts of course are always the thing that get visitors – they walk the road and think “why is this closed?” and then they hit the washouts, one after another. Now 3+ years into it, the washouts look like gorgeous groomed trail.
One of Ford’s favorite places to visit, the pools from the creek in one washout. You got water and rocks, what more do you need?
I carried Walker back a mile or so because you know, I wanted to It let me walk in the trees and talk to him.
We tucked him back into the BOB Jogger for the last bit, snuggly wrapped up – even though sunny it was still chilly.