Here are more photos from my hike on Wednesday. As I said in my other post about the day (here), I have driven by these two short loop trails in Mt. Rainier National Park several times on my way to Sunrise and never stopped. But between this time of pandemic and still snowy trails, I’m looking for alternatives. And this was a humdinger. Also, I discovered, there are longer hikes to be had from here another time—after some research. By going all the way to the huge—and currently closed—Ohanapecosh Campground, I managed a beautiful, variety-filled seven mile hike.
The Grove of the Patriarchs (I have decided here on to call it Grove of the Ancestors) was not the deep well of silence I had hoped for after leaving home at 5:30 to arrive early. Two trail workers arrived with me to repair the broken board walk with chainsaw and hammers. I’ll have to come back. But then the campground will be open and it will no doubt be peopley.
The California redwoods have nothing that can’t be found here. And the waterfall is a crashing wonder, full as it is right now with melting snow; and the river is crystal clear, unlike the milky glacial rivers. There is even a hot spring heated to hot bathwater as water moves through pressurized rock underground.
Because of the boardwalk repair, I retraced my steps through the grove. I love loop trails, but out and back provides new perspective. I completely missed the blanket of vanilla leaf the first time by.