Friday, August 31, 2007

Mt. Rainer - Skyline Trail

Yesterday we went on one of the most spectacular hikes I've ever been on. Skyline Trail is in a section of Mt. Rainer park called Paradise. After driving 2 hours to get to the trail head, we reached the 5.2 mile loop. It ascended 1500 feet in the first 2 miles and is considered a moderate level hike. We were literally right next to Mt. Rainer. Many hikers who summit Mt. Rainer use this trail to begin their climb. We passed many of these hikers and their huge backpacks of gear going both up and down. We saw pheasants, chipmunks, marmots, and deer. We hiked above the treeline to see uninterrupted views of the mountains and alpine meadows. At the end of our hike was a beautiful little waterfall with Rainer in the backdrop. (Special note, if you plan to hike this high up and above the treeline, don't forget sunscreen. I now have a very red farmer's tan.) I've posted tons of pictures below, but really you should just plan on visiting me next summer so that I can take you there personally.

Deer at the beginning of our hike

Mt. Rainer at the beginning of our hike.

Mt. Rainer at the beginning of our hike.

The ice flow coming down behind us is Nisqually Glacier.

Marmot sunning on the rocks.

Me and Mt. Rainer near the top of our hike.

Mt. Rainer (notice again the glacier).

Mt. Rainer as we are coming down the mountain, notice the terrain changing.

Alpine Meadows
Alpine Stream
This bench is a monument to the men who first made a successful summit of Mt. Rainer.
Myrtle Falls
This is a view of Mt. Rainer towards the end of our hike.

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