Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Mountain Paradise - Day 2

Day 2 in the mountains started off just like Day 1, with breakfast and a game of fetch.

We hopped in our rental car and headed back to Mt. Rainier. This time, we headed further up the mountain to Paradise (elevation 5400').  The last time we were here (April 2010), all of Paradise was buried under tons of snow, but this time it really lived up to it's name.
April 2010

September 2011
We began our hike by climbing the stone stairs and taking the Skyline Trail.

From there, the paved (at this point) trail continued at a gentle incline through a sub-alpine meadow bursting with flowers.

I even felt an overwhelming urge to strike a yoga pose along the way! (If you're a yogi, please excuse my less than stellar lunge.)
Warrior II
As we continued along, the already impressive volcano appeared to grow even larger and other peaks came into view on the horizon.
Mt. Rainier
Mt. Adams

Mt. St. Helens
Eventually, the Skyline Trail lead us to Glacier Vista (elevation 6336') and incredible views of some of the glaciers that cover Mt. Rainier.

Man & Mountain
After staring for a while, we continued upward and took a small detour part way up and back down the Pebble Creek trail before continuing on the Skyline Trail to Panorama Point.
All of the plants blooming while clinging to cracks in the rocks blew me away.

And inspired me to play with a few more yoga poses...'cause why not?!?!
Tree Pose (almost)

Warrior I
After I was done being silly, we continued on our way to Panorama Point:

Something furry and decidedly NOT vegetarian kept popping up over these rocks
And when we finally made it...Panorama Point did not disappoint.
 Three peaks (Mt. Adams, Mt. Hood & Mt. St. Helen's) were all visible at once...and it was stunning.
Mt. Adams

Mt. Hood (faintly in the distance)

Mt. St. Helen's
We were going to hike down immediately, but the nearest trail didn't look like such a good idea!

So after a quick consultation with our map, opted to take the High Skyline Trail and then take a short cut via The Golden Gate Trail.

As we hiked, we saw a bunch of marmots (who didn't seem to want to hold still long enough to be photographed) and some deer grazing in a meadow.  Eventually, we came to a side trail that seemed worth our while.

After Myrtle Falls, it was a few more minutes of hiking back to our car and the end of another fantastic day. 

We returned to the cabin ready for dinner and a nice, long soak in the hot tub, but this guy had other plans for us first...of course!
It's Impossible To Say No To This Face!


Ingunn said...

Man, you lucked out on the weather! Panorama Point is one of my favorite places, I love snowshoeing there in the winter too.

Mary said...

We really did luck out. Any suggestions on where I can get some good Mt. Rainier trail maps? The ones on the park's website leave something to be desired.