While wandering through my photo collection, I came across a trip I did many years ago. It is a trip for summer and early fall months.
There is a lonelier hike at Mount Rainier National Park. It sits on Hwy 123, on the backside of the park, split off from the park by that 2 lane mountain road. You have to keep an eye out for the trailhead. There is no parking lot, just wide spots to park on, for Shriner Peak.
The trail starts right off, and never quits on the climbing uphill. While it is only “4 miles” each way, it is over 3400 feet gained.
However, the views are amazing. Well worth the sweating and tired thighs. We had started late, and hiked in the afternoon and early evening. A major weather shift was coming in, so it cooled down for us.
The summer of 2005 had an amazing Beargrass show.
The higher we climbed, the more of Rainier was visible. Until the clouds started coming in.
Beargrass and Lupine.
In the last mile, there is a seasonal mini creek, which had water in it for us that year. We took a break, and filtered all we’d need for the night, then carried the water up the last bit. At the top is the old fire lookout (it is locked up) and other equipment. We were the only ones up there that late in the day. We had only passed one person the whole hike, and they had been heading down, in the first mile.
Walking out on the ridge, past the lookout, are 2 small campsites, with a bear pole. We got our tents set up…and then the clouds rolled in quickly. Within an hour, and night coming, we were in a white out. We stayed put in our tents, for safety. Morning came soon enough, with plenty of clouds left over.
The hike down was hushed in the quiet of the clouds, and so much Beargrass. We only encountered one person, a volunteer ranger we had met a number of times before, who walked with a service dog.
The hike down was long on the thighs, but cool in the clouds.