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Silver Forest Trail

Sunday afternoon, while making lunch, it seemed like a great idea to drop everything and drive up to Rainier. It was getting hot, so why not? Arrive around 3 pm and people are just starting to leave, so parking spots are easier to find (where as from 10 am on, in summer, on a weekend, finding a spot isn’t easy). We drove up to Sunrise. The clouds were coming in, which of course leads to disappointed tourists. Me? That means shade….


Walker wanted to go back and do the Silver Forest Trail, which we had done part of the year before. Now then…do NOT believe this quaint old sign. Apparently they measured trails a lot differently back in ye olden days. From this sign to the “end of maintained trail” sign it is 1 mile.


Clouds add so much to the look of Rainier. I love when she is pensive looking…..


Walker and Alistaire hiking the chosen trail.


The trail meanders through Yakima Park, below the Sunrise Road, with views of Sourdough Mountain often in the distance.


The views back are of Rainier, with Little Tahoma visible in the clouds.


This hike is a great one for young children – and anyone who wants a quiet and gorgeous hike – without sweating up a hill. I’ve noticed most people who go down this direction peter out after the first two lookout areas (that have interpretive signs, etc). Take their photos, turn back and head to the car. If people want to hike, they head up Sourdough Mountain in droves. Yet, the views are just as good, if not better, of the mountain from Silver Forest. Lots of birds (we saw hawks, crows, ravens and more) and plenty of ground squirrels and I saw bear scat as well. What we didn’t see was crowds. We only saw a dozen people and had most of the hike to ourselves.


The trail is wide, well-groomed and has nothing scary for children.


Looking East’ish –


The boys discussing how to properly touch evergreen trees. “Touch like petting a cat!” 😉


A wood dog? Barking at the Mountain?


Then as you come around a bend is this sign. End of Maintained Trail. On noooees! However, it does continue on, just not groomed or taken care of. There are 2 branches that go up to the Sunrise Road, to parking pullouts (look at Google Earth to see this – it actually a long time ago connected a trail that went across the road, and up to Sourdough Mountain – one the park has tried to heal), and then continues on awhile longer, running the side of the ridge, until it peters out. So the “End of” is a good enough spot to call it a turn around.


It’s a good hike. It might not be long (It is 2.4 miles round-trip from the parking lot), but it offers plenty to enjoy.

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