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.
As I left home and made my way to Mt. Rainier the fog was a bit heavy in places. However, as I made my way through Eatonville I began to notice impressive light effects playing on the fog and the trees. The fog for the most part burned off by the time I made the trail head. I was impressed that it was vacant and I was the first car in the parking area. I stretched and made my way to the trail. The trail was wide and flat, easy going. It remained this way until I reached Kautz Creek. From there the trail began to makes it climb. The elevation gain is steadily steep. Around the four mile area the trail does level a bit and there are some pretty spectacular views. I made my way up Mt. Ararat to turn around to view some incredible views to the south. In plain view was Mt. Adams. The visiblity was clear and I could easliy make out Mt. Hood. Just before I crested and headed down, two hawks caught my eye. They were riding the thermals (I later talked with a ranger to learn that the hawks had nested in the meadow below me) They were so close and I found myself able to make out details as they hung there. I ended this leg of my loop at the insection of the Wonderland Trail. See Wonderland Trail (Longmire to Devils Dream) for rest of my adventure.
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