by Tony Huegel (Wilderness Press)
© Tony Huegel/Wilderness Press. All Rights Reserved.
A very pleasant drive that is fairly close to metropolitan King Co. Despite the USFS website claiming that the road was open FS 75 was closed at the bottom, preventing me from completing the loop. Plenty of roads to get lost on -- bring a USFS road map. No shortage of good primitive campsites along roads, but bring water as many sites are dry. Bring water treatment capability if camping along the creek. High clearance advised if venturing off the main route, but exploration can be worthwhile. I camped at the end of a spur road next to the RNP boundary. The next day's venturing resulted in finding a campsite with one of the most awesome views I've ever seen of Mt. Rainier and, I believe, the Carbon River valley. I tried to take a couple of photos, but obviously haven't yet learned how to work my new camera. I'll get some next time and post one.
Rated 3 stars because most views are tarnished by clear cuts, but some old growth swaths remain, especially along creeks. Can see all the way to Mt. Baker in some spots. I will make this trip again.
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