Mount Rainier - Sunrise Area

Greenwater, Washington

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High-elevation bird-watching can be a tenuous pastime. Sunrise on the northeastern flanks of Mt. Rainier is one example. Although the site and its hiking trails can offer passage to views of hard-to-find, high-elevation birds such as White-tailed Ptarmigan and Gray-crowned Rosy-Finch, the area is open only for a few months each year, and when it opens it is so popular with tourists that you have to hike a while to get away from the crowds and into the best bird habitat. If you are willing to take a walk or to explore some of the easy but less popular trails, you will be rewarded. Habitats: Mountain riparian, mixed forest, old-growth forest, subalpine, alpine meadow. Specialty birds: Bald Eagle; Northern Goshawk; Blue Grouse; White-tailed Ptarmigan; Spotted and Northern Pygmy-Owls; Vaux’s Swift; Calliope and Rufous Hummingbirds; Pileated Woodpecker; Red-breasted Sapsucker; Pacific-slope Flycatcher; Gray Jay; Gray-crowned Rosy-Finch; Pine Grosbeak.
Birding Washington

DESCRIPTION FROM:

Birding Washington

by Rob and Natalie McNair-Huff (Falcon Guides)

High-elevation bird-watching can be a tenuous pastime. Sunrise on the northeastern flanks of Mt. Rainier is one example. Although the site and its hiking trails can offer passage to views of hard-to-find, high-elevation birds such as White-tailed Ptarmigan and Gray-crowned Rosy-Finch, the area is open only for a few months each year, and when it opens it is so popular with tourists that you have to hike a while to get away from the crowds and into the best bird habitat.

If you are willing to take a walk or to explore some of the easy but less popular trails, you will be rewarded. Habitats: Mountain riparian, mixed forest, old-growth forest, subalpine, alpine meadow. Specialty birds: Bald Eagle; Northern Goshawk; Blue Grouse; White-tailed Ptarmigan; Spotted and Northern Pygmy-Owls; Vaux’s Swift; Calliope and Rufous Hummingbirds; Pileated Woodpecker; Red-breasted Sapsucker; Pacific-slope Flycatcher; Gray Jay; Gray-crowned Rosy-Finch; Pine Grosbeak.

©  Rob and Natalie McNair-Huff/Falcon Guides. All Rights Reserved.

Activity Type: Birding
Nearby City: Greenwater
Trail Type: Several options
Best Times: Best summer and fall
Trailhead Elevation: 6,400 feet
Top Elevation: feet
Local Contacts: Mount Rainier National Park
Driving Directions: Directions to Mount Rainier - Sunrise Area

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May 2018