Day Hiking: Mount Rainier National Park
by Dan A. Nelson & Alan L. Bauer (The Mountaineers Books)
© Dan A. Nelson & Alan L. Bauer/The Mountaineers Books. All Rights Reserved.
On a cloudless day, temperatures in the low 80s at the park entrance, our trek began at the Tolmie Peak trailhead on the westernmost point of Mowich Lake. We worked our way around the serene shoreline, pausing often to admire the striking array of blues and greens displayed by the various depths. We cut across to the Spray Park trailhead behind the campground. For the first mile on the trail, we were delighted to find a half dozen varieties of edible berries in a choice of degrees of ripeness including blueberry, huckleberry, and thimbleberry. The trail itself is a stunning interplay of dense old-growth forest, dramatic cliff walls, thick heather fields, lush mountain meadows and marshes, punctuated by a half dozen quaint mountain stream crossings. There are three spurs well worth the diversion including the falls viewpoint. A well-spent effort will bring you up a pumice scramble to the base of the falls, where thin sheets of water roll off the towering knob into shallow pools. The dazzling expanse of meadow blooms at the park were the crowning jewel of our jaunt.
Really can't say enough good things about this hike. Walking down a snow-bank to look at Mowich Lake at the start. When approaching the Spray Falls view point, the falls appears to be literally starting out of nowhere.
After you're done looking at the falls, take the Wonderland Trail up to the Alpine meadow -- fields of wildflowers.
It doesn't get any better than this!
Spray Park is definitely one of our favorite Mowich entrance hikes! This is the hike to do in the height of summer to enjoy the beautiful flowering meadows. Gorgeous views of Rainier all along the hike as well. Don''t forget your camera!
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