A Magnificent Mt. Rainier Outing


On a stormy day I drove to Sunrise, Mount Rainier’s highest visitor center. It sits at an elevation of 6,400 feet in a vast and colorful wildflower meadow.

On a clear day there are amazing close-up views of the massive Emmons Glacier and the summit of the 14,411-foot volcano. In a piece of good luck, the summit was only clear of clouds for several minutes during my five-hour visit and it happened where I had a good view.

After putting on my day pack and light raincoat, I hiked the six-mile loop trail past Frozen Lake to the top of First Burroughs Mountain, dropped a short distance to a saddle, and then hiked to the top of Second Burroughs Mountain at 7,400 feet.

The views were mostly obscured by a heavy cloud cover, but I was kept entertained by several more-than-friendly golden-mantled ground squirrels. When I wouldn’t feed them, one began chewing on my pack. What rascals!

Much too soon, I put on the pack, descended to First Burroughs Mountain, passed by Shadow Lake, before returning to the Sunrise.

One more observation, both of the Burroughs Mountains are remnants of lava flow and are probably the best examples I have seen of tundra in the Cascades.

My only view of Mt. Rainier's summit

My only view of Mt. Rainier’s summit

Such a nice Golden Mantled

Such a nice Golden Mantled

Hey! What's she doing chewing on my pack?

Hey! What’s she doing chewing on my pack?

Hikers on the Second Burroughs Mountain dwarfed by Mt. Rainier

Hikers on the Second Burroughs Mountain dwarfed by Mt. Rainier

Frozen Lake

Frozen Lake

Bear-grass

Bear-grass

Old Men of the Mountain

Old Men of the Mountain

Pink Heather growing in the tundra above 7,000 feet

Pink Heather growing in the tundra above 7,000 feet

Hanging glacier peeking out of the storm clouds

Hanging glacier peeking out of the storm clouds

Sunrise wildflower meadows

Sunrise wildflower meadows

Looking up the stormy trail to the top of Second Burroughs Mountain

Looking up the stormy trail to the top of Second Burroughs Mountain

 

Categories: Washington Cascades HikesTags: , , , , ,

2 comments

  1. What date did you go up there? Curious if the flowers are still in bloom.

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