Mt Rainier Weekend Dayhikes

Tim Valentine

Member
.
Joined
May 24, 2015
Messages
121
My daughter, Holly, going to school in Seattle, had the great idea that I should come up in the summer and we could explore Rainier National Park. Our research led us to the Wonderland trail, so we decided to apply for the hard to get camping permits that would take us all the way around the mountain on the 97 mile loop. What we did not realize was that this year was the centennial anniversary of the trail. They had a record number of applicants and were all booked in record time by April 10th. We decided to go the park anyway in early August and do a couple of day hikes in the areas that seemed the most appealing. I told her as a consolation prize we would then drive to Glacier National Park and spend a week up there. She had never been to GNP and had no idea what a great consolation prize was awaiting us. Our GNP trip can be found on the backpacking forum since we did some overnighters on that portion of our trip. This posting is all about the Mt Rainier Sunrise area hikes and a 2nd day hike over the Panhandle gap to Ohanapecosh through Summerland.
After having viewed Rainier as a dominant mountain landscape feature looming over Seattle it was great to get up close to it and start to learn the names of the individual features. Hiking over 20 miles on the North and East perimeter of the mountain exposed us to a great sampling of what the area has to offer in the summer.
B73A2449.jpg

We started at the popular Sunrise day hike parking area. Since we had slept nearby the early morning parking lot was quiet as we set out on a days worth of hiking. We quickly came to Shadow lake and a resident Cascade frog in the shallows.
B73A2458.jpg

Cascades Frog
B73A2467.jpg


From the Burroughs Loop trail we had good views of the summit before the late morning clouds formed.
B73A2445.jpg


The marmots up there had some choice sunning overlooks.
B73A2502.jpg



B73A2489.jpg



As I was wondering out loud if they ever get tired of the views up there this one answered with a long yawn.
B73A2493.jpg

It takes a lot to startle me in the outdoors but the adult marmot achieved it when she let out her piercing shrill warning call to her 3 younger marmots. We were only 15 feet away and the young ones were only 20 feet away but when a hawk appeared in the sky above she nearly knocked Holly and I off the mountain with her call! It hurts my ears now just thinking about it! :)

We hiked further on to a second Burroughs overlook as the cloud ceiling was already starting to lower.
B73A2519.jpg


Good view of some blueish ice looking down on Emmons glacier
B73A2525.jpg


Lunch thief
B73A2533.jpg


There was a big herd of goats on the way down, it was good to have the binoculars.
B73A2546.jpg



We watched one of our favorites, the Pika
B73A2557.jpg



Further down we saw some goats in a more classic setting.
B73A2576.jpg



Closer to the parking we were fortunate enough to find a young Black bear grazing to round out our first hike in the park.
B73A2598.jpg


The parking lot was over flowing as expected for a summer Saturday as we returned. Good thing we got an early start.
B73A2570.jpg


The next morning we started our hike up the Panhandle gap from the Fryingpan Creek trailhead. Having already seen the major wildlife items on our first hike this hike was going to be icing on the cake. This is one of the major climbs on the Wonderland trail but without the full weight of backpacks we were really looking forward to getting back up high on a trail that was not as accessible as the Sunrise hikes of the previous day.
Classic Wonderland bridge over the white waters of the glacier runoff.
B73A2605.jpg


Never hurts to try for a photo endorsement picture
B73A2616.jpg




Views from the Summerland meadows. Not blooming much but still green after the northwest had an early spring.

B73A2631.jpg




Flowers still present at the waters edge
B73A2654.jpg



B73A2637.jpg


Holly aptly described these colorful tarns as something from an artist easel. Viewed from Panhandle Gap
B73A2663.jpg



Goats posing further above the gap.
B73A2667.jpg




More goats on the ridge trail.
B73A2680.jpg


This goat had dug out a wallow.
B73A2683.jpg


Showing the lamb how to take a dirt bath in a wallow.
B73A2689.jpg



Goats coming down from the pass area.
B73A2696.jpg



We continued hiking beyond the gap into Ohanapecosh Park. We saw another distant herd of goats.
B73A2698.jpg



It seems there is always a marmot lurking nearby.
B73A2699.jpg



Mt Adams looking south from Ohanapecosh Park
B73A2701.jpg


A colorful Green Cricket on the trail.
B73A2718.jpg




On the way back only Little Tahoma remained visible for the down climb.
B73A2724.jpg


Brown creek draining one of the colorful tarns.
B73A2728.jpg



We completed our hike and then had to decide where to go next. Should we drive 8 hours north to another park?
B73A2731.jpg

Rainier had been so good to us it was not an easy decision. We had shown up in a dry year with no hiking permits or campground reservations and still been blown away by two great hikes during one of the busiest weekends of the season. Glacier Park already had one fire going at the time and the main thoroughfare, the Going to the Sun road, was partially closed. I remembered the primary adage from all of our days of windsurfing "never leave wind to find wind". But.....having visited Glacier many years before, the attraction to return to the grizzly high country was too great. Even in a dry year, with few berries, snowfields or flowers we had to get to the the park, as soon as possible. I wanted to share the next chapter of our father daughter summer trip with Holly in a place she did not know much about, and had no preconceived images of. We hopped in the car and drove all night to Kalispell, Montana.

Featured image for home page:
slide.jpg
 

Attachments

  • B73A2673.jpg
    B73A2673.jpg
    309.9 KB · Views: 7
Last edited:

Keith

Member
Joined
Nov 2, 2014
Messages
75
Love the goat pictures! What a memorable trip and it's not all bad doing day trips without having to carry all that equipment. Rainier was the first mountain I ever saw and it wasn't until I was 18. It's pretty awesome.
 

BJett

Member
Joined
May 3, 2013
Messages
528
Those wildlife shots!! What zoom are you using? 300mm?
 

klank

one step at a time
Joined
Jul 29, 2013
Messages
77
the goat who dug out a wallow defiantly doesnt understand "Leave No Trace". =D
 
Similar threads
Thread starter Title Forum Replies Date
zionsky Rainier hiker back from the dead General Discussion 2
TractorDoc Three Days at Mount Rainier in late July. Hiking & Camping 10
TractorDoc Mount Rainier in Late July -- Day Hiking Meet Up (Members Only) 0
T Gobblers Knob in Glacier View Wilderness / Mt. Rainier National Park Hiking & Camping 6
Langdon Greene 2016 might be your best chance to do Wonderland (Rainier) Trip Planning 2
toejam Mt Rainier 2014 Backpacking 10
T Mt. Rainier Trip Planning 4
Ben wonderland trail, mt rainier np Backpacking 12
TrektheWorld Where should I go this weekend? Trip Planning 7
IntrepidXJ Memorial Day Weekend 2020 General Discussion 22
powderglut Hanksville Area/ Weekend Meet-Up 2019 Hiking & Camping 7
P Goose Lake weekend Backpacking 10
zionsky TR: A long weekend in Baxter Backpacking 7
Perry My First Multi-day Solo this Weekend - Looking for some Beta Trip Planning 0
fossana Arscenic, Slideanide, Clearwater, and Easter Pasture Canyons 4fer weekend Canyoneering 11
fossana San Rafael Swell MTB and salvaged packraft weekend Everything Else 13
LarryBoy Going South this Weekend? Meet Up (Members Only) 4
Hawk Utah : Lone Peak : This Weekend? Trip Planning 11
Jazzy Joe A Lucky Weekend above the Vermilion Cliffs Hiking & Camping 8
Yvonne A weekend in the Uintas Hiking & Camping 10
Stephanie Winter weekend trip with some hiking Trip Planning 3
Yvonne A long weekend in Tucson, April 2017 Everything Else 10
kwc Father's Day weekend in the Adirondacks Backpacking 2
Nick Invite BCP BBQ in Salt Lake area this weekend! Meet Up (Members Only) 61
wabenho Memorial Weekend Family Campout Hiking & Camping 2
SteveR Alberta Skiing Weekend Winter Sports 11
misSOULa Weekend in Moab Hiking & Camping 6
Miya Waterfall Weekend Hiking & Camping 14
RyanP Little Wild Horse tips for this weekend? Deep cold water in canyon? Trip Planning 5
Ugly McPheters and Middle Basin -Labor Day Weekend 2017 Backpacking 16
blueeyes Trail Flats Labor Day Weekend 2017 Backpacking 11
WasatchWill Allsop Lake or 'All Slop' Lake? A weekend well spent. Backpacking 24
Seamus NYC weekend tripper, occasional big treks! Noobs: Introduce yourself! 2
mathew Uintas this weekend Trip Planning 0
kimbur96 Weekend at Spruce Grove CG with hiking in Lost Creek Wilderness Hiking & Camping 1
Nanda Escalante Area - Memorial Day weekend Hiking & Camping 5
Stickerbumper Zion Traverse Memorial Day Weekend - Shuttle Meet Up (Members Only) 0
Mike Jones Snowshoeeing trip to Yosemite last weekend! Backpacking 4
J Avoiding Weekend Crowds - Tetons vs. Wind Rivers Trip Planning 11
Scott Chandler Valley of 10,000 Smokes Memorial Weekend Backpacking 9
swmalone Hiking options in the Uintas this weekend Trip Planning 2
Skiwi Uintas this weekend? Trip Planning 2
IntrepidXJ Maze Memorial Weekend III Hiking & Camping 6
LarryBoy It's gonna rain this weekend... Trip Planning 2
IntrepidXJ Easter Weekend Around the Paria Plateau Hiking & Camping 1
Craiger Camping around Moab next weekend General Discussion 6
IntrepidXJ Birthday Weekend in Capitol Reef Hiking & Camping 13
kimbur96 Noob: what I learned this weekend. General Discussion 4
Nanda Anyone going out this weekend? Trip Planning 12
Kullaberg63 Lockhart area roaming, MLK Weekend Backpacking 16

Similar threads

Don't like ads? Become a BCP Supporting Member and kiss them all goodbye. Click here for more info.

Top