We arrived at Mount Rainier National Park on Thursday. Our first hike on the way into the park was thwarted by closed gate on a Forest Service road:
We found a different trail nearby and walked in about a mile or so and crossed a small stream. We found a log to sit on and ate our lunch. It was a hot day and snuggled down in the bottom of the ravine with the creek a few feet from us made it a lot more pleasant.
After lunch we continued on to our campground, set up camp, then ventured out to a nearby trail which promised great views of Mount Rainier and multiple lakes. The temperature climbed to 98F. And we were going to be climbing up a mountain trail. Hmmm… Well, the hiking is what we came for. And it wasn’t going to be any cooler at our campsite.
The view of the mountain from Reflection Lake was nice and was visible from the parking area:
We found Lakes Trail, which is a loop which includes the lake seen above. We went in the recommended counter clockwise direction for a less abrupt elevation gain. The elevation gain had it’s perks. A nice view of Loise Lake, mountain peaks and valleys:
It was really hot and we were sweating something terrible. We were surprised to find snow beside the trail:
I scraped the debris off a patch and put a handful of clean snow on top of my head. I melted within seconds and the cold water ran off in a steady stream. It felt so good to get cooled off if only some and for a short period of time.
Another surprise were the flowers. In places there were so many in bloom that the fragrance was almost overpowering. Barb tried to take a picture of her favorite, the columbine. Her camera just wasn’t capturing it and offered to try with my SLR. This is after cropping it fairly severely:
There were creeks to cross which required a little bit of care but generally the trail was nice and the views pleasant.