In July a few years ago, I began a seven day trip to Central Washington, two days in Yakima and the remainder in Twisp. On the way to Yakima via White Pass, I turned north at Packwood for about 11 miles to the Tatoosh Trailhead at 2,900 feet of elevation. The Trail began rather easily with no hint of what was about to come. Soon the Trail began ascending steeply up the canyon wall of Butler Creek and did not stop until reaching a signpost at 5,500 feet, only two miles from the Trailhead. By that time the forest had been left behind and I was in a beautiful alpine area with wildflowers in rampant bloom. I spent the next few hours exploring.
My first destination was Tatoosh Saddle above Tatoosh Lakes, providing an unparalleled view of Mt. Rainier. The summit was only 11 airmiles to the north. After a short rest I returned to the signpost and headed south through the alpine meadows, eventually reaching a nice viewpoint over the Cowlitz River Valley. Then it was time to begin the trek back to the car and continue my journey to Yakima. All in all the hike was 7 1/2 miles in length with 3,200 feet of elevation gain.
Tiger Lily, Paintbrush and Candystick
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