July 2023August 2023 September 2023

08/06 - Mount Rainier - The Skyline Trail - Part 1

With access to our local national park restricted, we decided to make a quick trip to Mount Rainier. We don't live that far from Mount Rainier, so we decided to drive there, spend a night, take a hike in a new high country and then drive home. Mount Rainier is open, but access is tricky. We lucked out and got a room for one night at the Paradise Inn, so we didn't have to worry as much about parking or entry lines.

As it turned out, our plan worked. We rose early and were soon on the Skyline Trail heading up the slope with Mount Rainier and its streams and glaciers looming over us. It was a busy trail but beautiful. The flowers were blooming: lupins, mountain spiraea, bear grass and, inevitably, dirty sock plant. It was wonderful.

The country around Paradise at Mount Rainier is greener and wilder than the high country we are used to in the Olympic National Park. Those glaciers above melt and form rivers that seem to run everywhere, punctuated by dramatic waterfalls. There was less of a sense of exposure to wind and sun, but so much was familiar.

There were lots of hikers. Most were day hikers like us carrying a small pack or a bottle of water. Some were mountaineers with heavy packs and ice axes and clearly on their way to attempt climbing to the peak. There were quiet moments on the trail followed by hiking groups and family get togethers.

All told, our trip was a success. We made it to 1050' or so. Our GPS cut out as it often does and didn't restart until they launch a new satellite or the like. As we climbed, Mount Rainier grew closer and dominated the scene. It was spectacular, and we are already planning a return trip.

Mt. Rainier in the distance with clouds

The clouds constantly shifting

Another look up, now closer

Clouds, glaciers and mountain framed by greenery

Lush high country

One of the many streams

A little waterfall

Dramatic skies

Another dramatic view

A stretch of trail

Lush fields and other, lesser mountains

Those distant peaks

Pasque flowers

Another field of color

Yet closer to the mountain

Gray skies but only a light drizzle


More of Mt. Rainier

Buttermilk sky

There's a waterfall a bit left of the center.

That waterfall

More scenery

A stream down below

Keywords: flowers, high country, mount rainier

08/05 - Mount Rainier - The Skyline Trail - Part 2

Here are some more pictures from our hike on the Skyline Trail up Mount Rainier.

More dramatic sky

Pink paintbrush

A small stream

A rocky scene

Just a bit of lupine

More high country

More flowers

More rich green

Another waterfall

Another artistically framed photo

Rocks, rich green and glaciers

Green country

Bear grass among others

A tiny stream doing its bit to keep the high country green

A valley view

More corn lilies

Forest and green

More green

A typical array

Bright flowers

A lone mushroom

More flowers

A field of flowers

Keywords: flowers, high country, mount rainier

08/04 - Morse Creek West - An Owl and a Hawk

The Discovery Trail heading west from Morse Creek heads across an old restored railroad bridge down to the strait. We head down that way and walk along the water when we want an easy walk rather than something more challenging. This time, there was a bit of drama as we returned across the old railroad bridge. First, we had a spectacular view of an owl in a tree beside the bridge. Then, the owl was spooked and flew off pursued by a hawk. The hawk landed briefly on the bridge railing but then flew off again chasing the owl far into the trees.

The Discovery Trail along the water

A view in the other direction

Blue water and kelp

The dike

The forest trail

The old railroad bridge

An owl

A better look

Looking at us

Looking elsewhere

Ready to fly

A terrible picture of the hawk who terrified the owl

Not a very good photo - maybe a Cooper's hawk

Morse Creek

Along the old railroad bridge

Keywords: morse creek, birds

July 2023August 2023 September 2023