Posts Tagged ‘mt. rainier’

Driving Mt. Rainier

August 7th, 2009 1 comment

Wanted to post some more photos from the drive around Mt. Rainier. I think it’s the kind of place that should seem otherworldly if you’re not from here. Maybe someone can let me know.

hwy 164 mt- rainierFor instance, I’m pretty sure this view never happens in California. This is heading toward the mountain, driving between Auburn and Enumclaw.

mt- rainier national park roadThis is the road heading west toward the Paradise Lodge inside the park. Tree tunnels don’t happen much in Orange Countay (sic).

box canyon mt- rainierBox Canyon, a canyon with water in it.

rainier and reflection lakeView of Mt. Rainier from the side of the road, across Reflection Lake. With wildflowers.

bee and flower rainierHow bees do business.

narada falls rainierNarada Falls — I enjoy the photo for its complete lack of perspective.

nisqually river gulchNisqually River tributary wannabes.

bridge and lineMy attempt at a Chadley photo.

It’s a pretty cool drive. At some point I’ll make a list of my favorite stretches of road on the trip and this one’s got a good shot of being on there. Fierce competition.


Mt. Rainier Crystal Peak Hike and Eight Miles of Switchbacks (Day 24)

August 7th, 2009 No comments

Mt. Rainier is fantastic and wonderful. So are views of it. Hiking steep switchbacks through a prison of douglas firs is less fantastic. It’s hard to tell how it balances out. Ah well.

The hike has fantastic views of Mt. Rainier and, eventually, views of Mt. Adams, Crystal Lake, and what might be Glacier Peak. It’s hard work staying motivated up the dumb switchbacks, though. And then once you get above the treeline and can see stuff, it’s really just the same view of the same stuff the whole way. It’s a nice view, just: you know.

crystal peak trailheadSneaking up behind a sitting dog, putting a rope around its neck, and pulling is NOT allowed on this trail. Which pretty much killed the day for me right there.

crystal peak rockslideA rockslide! Well, better tank up.

burned treesThink forest fires are good for the forest? Tell it to *these* trees. Obama should do something about this — we need forest fires where no trees are actually burned.

trees near mt- rainierA wall of trees.

mt- rainier and white river (1)

Mt. Rainier with the European-American River in foreground.

crystal peak wildflowersWildflowers along the trail.

crystal peak final assaultThe final assault.

crystal peak view from topFrom the top, looking down.

crystal peak mt- adams viewView of Mt. Adams from the peak.

mt- rainier crystal peak trailA final look at Mt. Rainier — I like the parallell between the river and the trail, although it would’ve looked better with better light on the grass. Oh. Well.

Right, so: I dunno. The views were great — probably better than anything above illustrates. It’s also never a bad thing to stand on top of a mountain peak (at least, not in my book). Plus, since the trailhead isn’t that close to the “usual” park parts, the only people on the trail are those who mean to be there, and there aren’t very many of those types of people.

So it has those things going for it. I think there are some better hikes at Rainier, though — the Burroughs Mountain Trail, for instance, is 7-8 miles long (IIRC) and offers a lot more in the way of changes of scenery. Of course, since it starts from the Sunrise Lodge, it’s a lot more crowded. But anyway. This isn’t the last time I’ll ever be at Rainier (probably), so I’m guessing at the end of the day it will have been worth it to have checked this trail out at some point (was that the question?).


Camping on the White River (Day 23)

August 6th, 2009 1 comment

By Monday my stomach was mostly done gurgling, so I headed back out toward Mt. Rainier. I’ve driven (or more frequently been driven) out that way many, many times in my life, a lot of them on the way to go skiing at Crystal Mountain when I was a kid. Always wanted to spend some quality time with the White River that flows along the highway and thus took the opportunity.

It’s prose like that that keeps you coming back to the site. Admit it.


white riverIt’s more dishwater-brown than white, but you can kind of see what they were getting at. The sand on the beach to the left there is made of glacier silt and very, very soft.

white river tree collectionThe river collects trees like a person might collect, I dunno, antique rifles?

douglas fir 700-years-oldThe Dalles Campground includes this 700-year-old douglas fir tree.

dalles campground viewThe view out the back of my living quarters as the sun goes down. It’s kind of cool falling asleep to the sound of a river just outside your truck window.

Some day I’m going to put together a review of campgrounds I’ve visited. The Dalles campground will probably fare well. It cost $18 for this “premium campsite” (premium because it backed up to the river), which was $2 more than the other campsites. But the vault toilet was well-tended and smelled all right, it wasn’t too big a campground to start with, weren’t many neighbors, and the bugs didn’t seem to like being there.


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