Monday, September 7, 2015

Mount Rainier National Park


On a return trip from eastern Washington we met my brother, Tim, who was in the area for work, at Mount Rainier National Park and spent the day hiking together.  We hiked in the Sunrise area of the park, an area my wife and I had not seen before, and had an amazing day with beautiful weather and good company.  The Sunrise area is the highest part of the park to which one can drive, but our hiking took us even higher, to nearly 8000 feet and very close to the peak.

On our way into the park we saw a black bear sow with two cubs.  We were able to get some pictures of the mother who was digging for something right along the road, but the cubs quickly disappeared into the brush.  They were the only animals we saw all day, though we did see quite a few wildflowers, a bit of a surprise since we've had a very hot and dry summer.  Probably the altitude was the reason the flowers were still blooming.

My wife and I arrived early and stopped along Highway 410 for some photos of the sunrise before turning west onto the road to Sunrise.  We were early and stopped at a viewpoint to take pictures when Tim, who had anticipated the fact that we would be early, drove up.  We all had a laugh because he drove up to find us both standing on a wall taking pictures.  After he had the opportunity to take some photos of his own we drove on up to the Sunrise visitors' center.

We decided to hike the First, Second and Third Burroughs trails which follow a series of ridges and peaks, all part of Burroughs Mountain.  These trails brought us to an area just across from Winthrop Glacier on the northeastern side of the peak.  The area is very barren, a surprise to us who are used to the greener southern areas of the park, and so the views are completely unhindered.  Surprisingly, though, there were quite a few wildflowers blooming in these areas.


The peak was obscured by clouds when we arrived, but began to clear as we hiked the trails and though clouds were moving in out we had good views of the peak and the surrounding area.  As we hiked back out the clouds moved in again and by the time we arrived back at our vehicles the peak was completely obscured once again.  Leaving the park we drove to the area where Tim was staying and went out for supper together at a nice Mexican restaurant.

sunrise from the Mather Memorial Parkway (Highway 410)




black bear





viewpoint near Sunrise Lake










Sunrise Lake



near Sunrise visitors' center







Subalpine Fir


Sourdough Ridge trail










Emmons Glacier






Shadow Lake





Little Tahoma Peak












Dwarf Lupine


Burroughs Mountain sign


Burroughs Mountain trails















Emmons Glacier


 Partridgefoot






Emmons Glacier and Nancy


 White River valley


view from First Burroughs





Worthington Glacier



the trail to Second Burroughs




Dwarf Lupine







Alpine Buckwheat



Magenta Paintbrush





Steamboat Prow


 Worthington Glacier


Little Tahoma Peak


Steamboat Prow and Worthington Glacier




Dwarf Lupine



Short-beaked Agoseris



headed back








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