Hiking

Shriner Peak Trail and Lookout Tower

Shriner Peak/Lookout is tucked away on the quiet side of Mount Rainier National Park. Reached via Hwy 123, it is a very long drive no matter where you are coming from. That isn’t necessarily a bad thing for scoring a permit to spend the night at the top of the peak. There are two sites for backpacking at the end of the ridge.

We lucked out with snagging a permit late in the day and started hiking at around 4 pm.

The trail heads up at a fast clip, but the views across the way more than make up for it.

Every few years the Beargrass crop is amazing, and we got that year.

The hillside was nearly ivory and it was in full bloom.

We were near the first bump, as the trail crosses over the other side and starts up the final ridge.

Looking across at Rainier, shrouded in clouds as the weather changed. There is one stream on the way up, about a mile below. If you need water make sure to get it there. It doesn’t always run year round, we hauled all our water up the mountain, and topped off our drinking water. It gets dark faster on the back side, and with the changing weather it was approaching dusk.

We made the top and reached the lookout tower, which was locked up. It is open if a ranger or volunteer is there. Tori and Ford waiting for me.

We walked out onto the ridge to find the campsites.

We tucked in our 2 tents, a solo and a 2 man at the last site. The views were amazing, sitting so far out there. It is one of the campsites in the park that feels like pure wilderness. The winds howled all night long, buffeting the tent.

We woke up in the clouds, and packed up early. As soon as we dropped a few hundred feet we got into the mist, rather than a white out. The hike down was very pretty.

Ford hanging in the Beargrass/

We saw only one person the entire trip, a volunteer ranger with his service dog, on the way up in the morning.

Ford and Tori, with Ford up on the rock. Then it was down, down and down to the car – and a breakfast out in Enumclaw.

~Sarah

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