Hiking Mount Rainier National Park
by Heidi Schneider & Mary Skjelset (Falcon Guides)
© Heidi Schneider & Mary Skjelset/Falcon Guides. All Rights Reserved.
First hike in a while and this was perfect. Eunice and Mowich lakes are perfectly clear and beautiful.
Wonderful hike, especially the actual ascent up to the top. Mowitch Lake and Eunice Lake are clear and deep blue. There was still snow on the trail up at Eunice Lake but it was passable. The best part of this hike is the unmaintained trail at the lookout station that goes to the true peak of Tolmie Peak. According to my daughter, "you can't say you climbed Tolmie peak unless you go to the top". So off we went. I could only go halfway before my nerves got the best of me. I waited while my daughter continue on with the fearlessness of a mountain goat. I noticed while sitting on the ridge that the accoustics are so good that I could hear the people below at the lake as they talked. You can also see Mowitch Lake from the top. As you hike the trail be sure to take a short 200 ft detour at Insput Pass just for the view, its great.
This is not the most interesting or rewarding trail when the weather is bad, we discovered. It rained hard the whole day, blocking all the views but those nearest at hand. The lake at the start of the trail was pretty, but we had trouble figuring out what to do on the trail, as there were numerous side trails entering and leaving, most unmarked. I'm still not sure what trail we hiked, but we did eventually arrive at a sign stating Tolmie Peak. The peak was a mystery though. All we saw was another lake and some beautiful flower meadows with a stream running though them. I will say the rain came with the blessing of empty trails and solitude. As a result, we were able to sit quietly and watch a young buck with tiny horn buds walk past us not 15 feet away. So, no wildly inspiring mountian views, but a few nice lakes and some wild life.
On this hike you get a bigger lake, a smaller lake, a great trail, a lookout cabin, and some exploration at the summit. Be sure to hike over to what may be the true summit of Tolmie Peak just a bit further along the ridge. Over there you can find solitude and different views. Most of the area around Eunice Lake is posted to stay off and no camping is allowed there. The best way to reach this place is via Ipsut Creek and Ipsut Pass, but it is longer.
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