Afternoon on Mt. Rainier

Behold! Nearly a year in coming, our pictures from visiting Mt. Rainier are finally here. We wanted to take the kids to see a mountain – a big mountain – and Mt. Rainier clearly qualified.

We chose to visit the east side of the mountain, where neither Marla or I had visited. The picturesque Tipsoo Lake just below Naches Peak and Chinook Pass seemed like as a good a destination as any so we hopped in the car and spent the morning driving windy two-lane roads through rural Washington.

We arrived at Tipsoo Lake just a bit before lunch and enjoyed a picnic by a tiny creek before cresting the hill to soak in the view. If you’ve seen stunning pictures of Mt. Rainier reflected in an alpine lake it’s probably from Lake Tipsoo. (No, really. Try an image search for Mt. Rainier and I guarantee you’ve seen the lake before, likely with a moon at sunrise or sunset.) It was every bit as impressive in person as in the photos.

After lunch we took a stroll along part of the Naches Peak Loop Trail up to Chinook Pass. While I was in near-marathon shape at this point last year, let me tell you that a hike at 5400 feet will leave you breathless. We paused at the top, staring east and soaking in the fantastic view before turning back towards Yakima Peak.

Following our trek on the mountain side we moved into the valley and took a walk along the Silver Falls Trail in the Ohanapecosh (say that 3 times fast!) area of the park. Despite some grumbling from Henry, we all enjoyed the hike through old growth forrest and along the most gorgeous turquoise water I’ve ever seen. And, as the photos show, we ended the day dead tired and dirty but happy and content.

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