Bluebird day at Mt. Rainier National Park. The day lot was already full when we arrived around 9AM and so we had to park along the road inside the campground (camping hasn't opened up yet). Lots of skiers going up the trail today. Saw plenty of hikers, too but I think the skiers outnumbered the hikers on this day. Last 0.7 miles of the trail is pretty much snow covered although there are some completely bare sections. We had microspikes so used them but we saw people with just boots doing pretty well. The people in tennis shoes were having more difficulties, especially going down. Views today were superb. There was a sign warning about bear activity when we reached Glacier Basin and for once the sign was right! Spotted a black bear off in the meadow at Glacier Basin. He stayed at the edge and seemed focused on eating as much as possible. Hiked a little further and found a good rocky spot for lunch before heading back. Wildflowers are out but haven't reached their peak yet.
First trip up to Navaho Pass and we'll be back again, perhaps going that last mile to the Navaho Peak as well. This trail has everything you'd want: long sections along a nice creek, wildflowers and great views the further you go. Parking lot was full when we arrived around 9 so we parked along the road with many other cars. Saw a steady stream of backpackers coming down on our way up but while we saw a lot of people out there on the trail, it never seemed to crowded. I don't think the wildflowers are at their peak yet but there were plenty to see. And the views from the pass were great. Makes the climb that much more rewarding when you soak in the views while eating lunch. There were a few blow downs on the trail but none that really proved too difficult. Road to the trailhead is a little rough in places but any car could make the trip.
We figured the cloudy weather would make it a good day to go to Wallace Falls State Park and we were not alone. Parking lot was almost full when we got there around 9. Lots of people out on the trail. We hiked to upper falls, then over to the lake, back down on the Greg Ball trail and then took the Railroad grade back. A nice little loop and it also means you only deal with crowds on the first part up to the upper falls viewpoint. We saw several people after that as well but we it wasn't the constant stream we saw earlier in the morning. Berries will be ready soon. Very foggy at the top. They've cut a lot of trees since the last time we did this hike and while I assume there are some views now, we didn't see any hiking in the clouds.
We set off on a scouting trip up to Goldmyer Hot Springs but turned around at Thunder creek. Creek was flowing fast and while there was a single log "bridge" spanning the creek, it was slippery and had no hand rails. And so while we estimated we were about a half mile from the hot springs, decided not to risk it and turned around. Will try again some other time. On the plus side the forest is awesome and we only saw 6 people the entire day. Not bad for a pretty close to Seattle hike.
Beautiful day for a hike. Our first trip to Mt. Rainier National Park this year. Didn't realize it but we did this same hike exactly 6 months ago to the day last November. It was quite a bit warmer today. We did the Trail of the Shadows counter clockwise and then took the Rampart Ridge Loop trail. Once back at Longmire we hiked up the Wonderland trail to the Nisqually river for a scenic riverside picnic. About 8.5 miles round trip was just about the right length. A fair amount of people out on the trail but not as bad as the summer crowds and still less people than many of the I-90 corridor hikes so it was nice to find some peace and quiet out there today. That's why we go to the mountains, to escape! A few snow patches on the Rampart Ridge trail between the viewpoint and the Wonderland trail but nothing that your average hiker couldn't cross with ease in just boots.
Beautiful weather today so we were not alone on the trail. Had to have seen about 75 people along the trail today so you don't come for the solitude but that is par for the course for trails close to Seattle. Trail is in good condition. A couple of blow downs and numerous small creek crossings but nothing that should pose any problems to the majority of hikers out there. One little tiny patch of snow but otherwise the trail is completely snow free. Restrooms at the trailhead were open.
With the old reliable Middle Fork trail closed, we decided to check out the Pratt River trail which you can start from the same trailhead. First 3.5 miles or so along Middle Fork is a nice rolling trail with some good views of the river and surrounding mountains. Once the trail turns east and away from the Middle Fork, the trail becomes quite muddy and the scenery was just so-so in our book. We hiked about 4.3 miles from the trailhead before turning back as the muddy trail was also becoming somewhat overgrown as well. All in all not a bad hike to stretch your legs. Parking lot was quite full but it didn't feel quite as crowded as some of the other hikes in the area. Trillium are blooming all along the trail. Bugs were not too bad but it won't be long before they are out in full force.
Big Creek Falls lived up to its name today. The falls were roaring! And Otter Falls had more water than we've ever seen. Trail was in good condition. A few creek crossing but nothing too bad although water proof shows would be a good idea. Not too hot, not too cold. A good day for a short 10 mile trek. As others have mentioned, restrooms are still closed for the season.
What a difference 3 weeks makes! Last time we strapped on microspikes from the start of the snow covered trail. Due to the recent warm temps, we didn't really encounter much snow until after Stan's overlook. Spotty at first but then pretty solid the last mile or so to Grand Prospect. We didn't use microspikes on the way up but they came in handy on the way down. Poles would work as well. We had planned to go to Dirty Harry's Peak but given the socked in weather, opted for old faithful, i.e. Rattlesnake Mountain. No views today and parts were shrouded in clouds/mist but still, a day out on the trail is better than a day at home.
Sunny skies meant a great day to hit the trails. While there was some wind, most of this hike is in the forest out of the wind so while we heard it, we didn't feel it except in a few places. Parking lot has been plowed but not completely. That said there are spots for 10+ cars. We hiked only until Grand Prospect viewpoint. The trail was snow covered the entire way. From the trailhead to Stan's Viewpoint is well packed down. We had micro spikes so we put them on from the start but you probably didn't need them, at least on the way up. From Stan's viewpoint to Grand Prospect there seems to have been a little less traffic but still the trail is easy to follow and pretty well packed down. The last little bit was sloppy in a few places but really it just felt like hiking in sand. A few people out on the trail: some with no traction, some with micro spikes, some with snowshoes and one trailrunner --- in shorts! Great hike close to home.
Trail Runners? Check. Mountain Bikers? Check. Horses? Check. Motorcycles? Check. Blue skies? Check. Boy Scout Troop? Check. We saw all kinds out on the trails today. Bluebird conditions brought out everyone. While we saw lots of people, it didn't feel overly crowded. Happy to get in the first hike of the year. We did the loop starting with the Gold Creek trail up to the vista and took the Plummer trail on the way back down. Great views of the Olympics and from the viewpoint we could we could even see downtown Seattle and the Space Needle. Granted that view was a little hazy but still it was great to be rewarded for the trek up. Great weather out on the trails today capped with a visit to Silver City Brewery on the way home.
We were looking for a Sedona hike while back in Arizona to visit family for Thanksgiving and settled on this one. We followed the route described by @daytripper in his 11-4-2018 triplog. Can't believe we never did this hike while living in AZ. Ranks right up there with Oak Creek Canyon as my favorite Sedona hike. We started at the Huckaby trailhead and followed the Munds Wagon Trail up to the intersection with the Cow Pies trail. Took that short link to the Hangover trail and followed it back down to where it hooks up with the Munds Wagon trail and then followed it back to the parking lot. Bluebird weather today. At this time of year if you're starting mid-morning I think this counter-clockwise loop is the way to go as it gives you great lighting for pictures the entire route. Definitely not a hike to do when it's hot but on this day it was mid 40s when we started around 9:30 which was great. Not hot but not really cold either - perfect hiking weather. Great views all along the hike. Still a little fall color left. We clocked in at a little over 8 miles and had we not stopped to take so many pictures we would have made better time. We enjoyed our leisurely pace and soaked in all the views. Definitely would recommend this hike!
Chilly but beautiful day on the trail today. We started at Longmire and did the Trail of the Shadows first before heading up to Rampart Ridge. Views of the mountain were fantastic. Once back at Longmire, we hiked up the Wonderland trail toward Carter Falls and ate our lunch near the Nisqually where we had yet another great view of the mountain. A lot less people during the off-season even though it was a gorgeous day in a three day weekend. It was nice to not have to fight the crowds for a change. Frost but no snow the trail today.
Stopped along our way to Wenatchee to hike up about 5 miles along Ingalls creek and then turned around. Still some good fall colors out there and the temp was just about right -- not hot and not cold -- perfect fall hiking weather. Compared to our last hike in Mt. Rainier National Park, we saw a lot less traffic on this hike. Maybe 15-20 people over the course of our 4 hour hike so we were able to get some solitude out on the trail. Saw lots of great camping sites along the creek so we might have to come back and do that. Beautiful clear water and nice fall colors!
Another beautiful fall day. The road to the trailhead was in pretty good shape. Lots of people already there when we rolled in around 9AM. Probably double the cars when we left. Mowich lake was crystal clear and smooth when we arrived so it offered perfect reflection of the surrounding peaks. You won't get any solitude on this hike, at least not on a sunny weekend day. On the one hand it was great to see so many people out enjoying the trail. On the other hand, it would be great if those that did come out would follow better trail etiquette. Dogs (not allowed on National Park trails), loud music and loud people took a little bit from the experience. Maybe I'm just old school. Overall it was good day. Views from the lookout are a great reward for a relatively short hike. Definitely recommend parking at the lot near Mowich camp and taking the lakeshore trail before hooking up with the main trail. It's an easy section and you get close-up views of the lake.
Road to Sunrise closes Monday so it was our last chance to visit this year. Weather was perfect! Blue skies, not too hot, not too cold. Wind wasn't too bad and just some small stretches of snow on the trail. The only thing we could have asked for was more wildlife but while no goats or bear, the year of the grouse did not disappoint. It was our only trip up to Sunrise this year but it was great. A long day on the trail but left satisfied as well as tired. Even though we've done this hike several times, we come home and find we've taken over 100 pictures (although there are a lot of duplicates!). We've had some bad luck with weather and fires this past summer but days like today are why we continue to hit the trails!
Not quite as sunny as we had hoped but the mountain still made an appearance. We started around 9AM and found Rainier to be totally socked in by clouds when we arrived at the meadows. We had come this far so we continued on. At the trail junction at the end of the meadow we took a right for about another half mile to a favorite lunch spot. Clouds were still out but so were the autumn colors. As we ate lunch a group of 4 grouse just came sauntering down the trail. In years past we've seen the occasional grouse but this year it seems like we've seen them on almost every hike. On the way back we stopped periodically to turn around and found the clouds had somewhat given way to some glimpses of the mountain. As we've done this hike on a bluebird day the views didn't quite live up to expectations but were good nonetheless. And the fall foliage is really starting to shine. All in all, a great day out on the trail.
Our go-to hike when we want to get out but want something close to home. Lot was pretty full but I think there were more mountain bikers than anything. Saw a few hikers and trail runners out today. Trail is overgrown in some early sections but overall in good condition. Always a nice little workout to go to Grand Prospect and back.
This hike near starts at Miette Hot Springs (about an hour from Jasper) so there is the option to take a soak in the hot water when you are done. This hike is a steady climb all the way to the top. The last portion once you clear the treeline is the steepest and trekking poles can be handy for the climb down. It's also very windy up top, so much so on the cloudy, rainy day we went that even my trekking poles were being blown around. The views from the top on a clear day must be incredible but clouds limited the views we got. However, we did spot a large group of bighorn sheep in the area where the treeline ends so that helped ease the pain of lack of views.
A nice little loop hike just outside of Jasper. You could even probably hike from Jasper (there is a trail) if you wanted to make a longer day hike. There is even a very short loop hike that hits all five lakes which could be good if you have little ones who are not up for a longer hike. Rainy weather did not lend itself to great pictures but the lakes were lovely nonetheless.
WARNING! Hiking and outdoor related sports can be dangerous. Be responsible and prepare for the trip. Study the area you are entering and plan accordingly. Dress for the current and unexpected weather changes. Take plenty of water. Never go alone. Make an itinerary with your plan(s), route(s), destination(s) and expected return time. Give your itinerary to trusted family and/or friends.