Mount Rainier is quite an impressive mountain but it’s not just any old big mountain, it’s a stratovolcano that rises to 14,410 feet and contains 25 glaciers. This mountain and the area around it was made into a national park in 1899! It is amazing to behold and everyone who visits just wants to see that peak. The question each day became, “is it out?” The clouds and weather systems around this mountain are complex leading to it being very often hidden and unable to be viewed. We did 3 hikes in Mount Rainier National Park – Comet Falls, Skyline and Frozen Lake via Sourdough Ridge.
The beginning of Comet Falls Trail. The elevation gain was about 900 feet.
This apparently was supposed to pass for a bridge!
It really was pretty magnificent
It was so much colder when we got to the falls
Beautiful wildflowers, loud and misty falls and once again we had a place all to ourselves
We were told, “it gets steep at the end.” Well, maybe it gets steep-er, but it got steep right from the start. This is a view going back down.
These two didn’t realize how amazing that trail was about to be. Skyline was one of the best hikes we’ve ever done. Also watch Kristi’s outfit – it will keep changing as the elevation and weather change. Her backpack is loaded up with warmer clothing.
This trail had it all – including wildflowers galore
The mountain was out a little bit as we started. The hope was to get incredible views once we were much higher in elevation.
We named him (and each chipmunk after him) Cheeky! He was so cute and friendly.
Beauty in every direction
An amazing huge waterfall off Mount Rainier. Also many glaciers and snowmelt in various stages.
The higher we got the more unmelted snow was covering the trail
Taking a rest (and trying to lose a family we couldn’t seem to get away from!)
Didn’t really expect quite this much snow. It was right over much of the trail, not just around it.
She’s not 100% sure about this height and steepness
A cute hoary marmot with some teal coloring on his side.
His antics were adorable
The much appreciated mountain bathroom (literally one of the nicest trail bathrooms we’ve ever seen) at 6800 ft elevation. If you could leave the door open, you’d have a view of the entire mountainside!
She added a jacket
Made it to the top. She added hat and gloves. Pointing to where the mountain should be, but we couldn’t see it at all. We waited a while too. Bummer. See video below of Jerry being almost accosted at this location by a playful chipmunk who just wanted some granola bar.
Cool patterns of snowmelt everywhere.
Heading down the other side
Cool shades of blue in much of the snow if you look closely. Reminiscent of the blue we saw in the glacier in Alaska.
It was quite snowy and quite steep in many areas
Interesting snow patterns
A cute pair of hoary marmots. We aren’t sure if they were a couple but it seemed so!
Fascinating snow melting all along the trail (this is from a very low perspective)
We love the layers of mountains in the distance in varying shades of gray
A snowmelt tunnel
Whew! The lodge where we started this hike was finally in sight.
Much more snow on the back half
A cute little bridge to somewhere with less snow!
We almost forgot our snack that we bought for this hike. It sounded interesting in the gift shop – turns out Peanut Bruttle is really just an off-brand Butterfinger! But yum!
Broken bridge – too bad, we can’t turn back now, it’s 6.5 miles back the other way.
That was quite some elevation gain!
Quite an ugly looking fox in the field as we started the hike to Frozen Lake via Sourdough Ridge
This hike was cold from the start and not nearly as amazing as Skyline had been the day before
Still saw views of cool glaciers
The back of the multicolored fox. He’s listening for something in the grass
The trail once it leveled out
Frozen lake! Really neat blue in the snowmelt patterns.
A little rain on the way back
Gorgeous mountain flowers
2 white mountain goats down in that meadow
After days of trying to see that mountain, we headed back to our camp. This BEST PICTURE OF THE WHOLE VISIT was from a roadside turnout on the way out.
A sampling of our wildlife encounters, amazing views, strenuous hikes, and more!