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.
Amazing "old forest" trail with a very rewarding finish at the saddle. Most of the trail is switchbacks through the old forest. Before reaching a lower saddle the trail takes you to your first amazing view of a large rock slide in a bowl. As of July 5th 2012 the trail is basically lost in the snow after this point. But by following the many foot prints in the snow you will easily reach the lower saddle with a large clearing. Continue through the clearing (North) to some vertical cliffs; here you can pick up the trail again. It gets pretty steep from here with more switchbacks. The saddle where the trail ends provides a spectacular view of Rainier and even Mt Saint Helens to the South. Even though you are in a saddle the view is still incredible. Beautiful trail with beautiful views!!! I'm an experienced hiker and completed the hike in 6 hours with an hour at the saddle. You will be glad you hiked this trail.
The two and a half hour hike with 3000 ft of elevation was strenuous but manageable. We were rewarded with a spectacular view of Mt. Rainier. The walk down was much easier, all down hill.
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