Spray Park (Mt. Rainier) 7.17.17

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weathercrazy
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Spray Park (Mt. Rainier) 7.17.17

Post by weathercrazy » July 20th, 2017, 5:55 pm

Hopefully it's okay to post a couple hikes from Mt. Rainier...if not, either don't read on or this will be deleted anyway ;)

Full gallery here:

http://www.naturespixpdx.com/Landscapes ... ier-71717/

And another showing some of the aurora as well as a nice sunrise and a short hike up to Bench Lake.

http://www.naturespixpdx.com/Landscapes/Mt-Rainier-717/

Opening pic:

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I had done this hike twice before, but lost my photos when my hard drive crashed, so I was determined to get back up there again.

I spent the previous night up taking (a few) photos of the aurora then the sunrise, so I was pretty tired when I got on the trail around 3 PM.

The bugs were HORRIBLE! I got bit more than I ever have despite having repellent on. I had to take pictures and they were eating me alive. Mainly mosquitoes, but a few annoying flies too. I'd go to slap one only to see 5-6 on my arm...OUCH!

The trail is in great shape with ZERO blow down the entire way. There was only some snow toward the very top of my hike where the views opened up.

I asked a hiker just finishing the trail if there were any flowers, he said no, not really. Granted, he only went to Spray falls, but there were plenty of flowers right from the get go.

One more note, this trail is at the end of 14 miles of gravel road. The road is easily passable however. And, don't let the remoteness think you aren't going to pay a fee! I saw plenty of cars with tickets who did not purchase/display a National Park Pass!

Great hiking through the forest on a well maintained trail:

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Shooting stars, I don't see these on many hikes, so this was nice!

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Help me ID this one???

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Rainier was playing hide and seek, mostly hide despite it being clear everywhere else:

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Bear grass in the forest...

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Entering the first meadows...

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The flowers were not at a peak I've seen before, but none the less, they were gorgeous!

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Especially the avalanche lilies:

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I had never been beyond this area really on this hike. I usually hike in the evenings, and I made a turn around point. Little did I know I was very close to the "top" with great views in all directions.

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I gave myself until about 6 pm to explore..being in no hurry the entire time :)

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What little snow is on the trail should be gone within a week, maybe 10 days.

Marmot friend at my turn around point. She/he was in the middle of the trail for quite a while so I decided not to bother.

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I had NO idea these views existed up here!

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I spent a while fighting the bugs and taking pictures, then slowly meandered back down.

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I only saw a handful of people. It was one of the most peaceful hikes!

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I don't think I had ever stopped at Eagle's Roost either...I was missing this the entire time:

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Evening light on the trail :)

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The bees were busy, it was awesome watching them constantly working, head first!

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Chip Down
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Re: Spray Park (Mt. Rainier) 7.17.17

Post by Chip Down » July 20th, 2017, 6:26 pm

When I saw your topic title, my first thought was "bugs"!
Yep, sure enough.
Worth it though, right? Fantastic area.
I think I've been there twice, once in a July mosquito swarm, and once on a brutally cold windy (but still fun) November day.

Curious about the parking situation. Is there a separate fee? Do you need to display your pass?

I looked at the MRNP website, but didn't see anything new. I entered "parking" in the search bar, and the first result announced parking meters. WTF?! Parking meters at MRNP?! :shock:
Oh, oops, I was searching NPS, not specifically MRNP. :|

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sprengers4jc
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Re: Spray Park (Mt. Rainier) 7.17.17

Post by sprengers4jc » July 20th, 2017, 9:24 pm

Great pics! Your 'Help me out here?' pic is of Scouler's Corydalis.
'We travel not to escape life but for life to not escape us.'
-Unknown

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weathercrazy
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Re: Spray Park (Mt. Rainier) 7.17.17

Post by weathercrazy » July 20th, 2017, 9:30 pm

Chip Down wrote:When I saw your topic title, my first thought was "bugs"!
Yep, sure enough.
Worth it though, right? Fantastic area.
I think I've been there twice, once in a July mosquito swarm, and once on a brutally cold windy (but still fun) November day.

Curious about the parking situation. Is there a separate fee? Do you need to display your pass?

I looked at the MRNP website, but didn't see anything new. I entered "parking" in the search bar, and the first result announced parking meters. WTF?! Parking meters at MRNP?! :shock:
Oh, oops, I was searching NPS, not specifically MRNP. :|
It's just the National Park Pass you have to display. There is a small kiosk about 3-4 miles before the lake where you can buy one if you don't already have one. I normally just have it in my pocket, but once I saw cars with tickets, I promptly put it on my dash.

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weathercrazy
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Re: Spray Park (Mt. Rainier) 7.17.17

Post by weathercrazy » July 20th, 2017, 9:35 pm

Here is a selfie I took up at my turn around point. I used to hate the idea of a selfie, and didn't have a picture of me probably since I was in my early 20s. Something's changed and I don't mind my own pic as much haha.

Back to my point, notice my friends buzzing around in the background...
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justpeachy
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Re: Spray Park (Mt. Rainier) 7.17.17

Post by justpeachy » July 21st, 2017, 5:52 am

Gorgeous! I went to Spray Park once and like you found it to be buggy but beautiful.

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drm
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Re: Spray Park (Mt. Rainier) 7.17.17

Post by drm » July 21st, 2017, 6:34 am

For backpackers or distance hikers, Spray Park can be part of a loop. While the alpine sections in this report are a small part of the loop, there are other attractions lower down. The access is not too bad but it is the farthest part of the park for us to the south, which also means it is one of the closest areas from Seattle.

Another practical factoid: At the trailhead is the free (of course you pay to get in the park), first-come, first-served campground at Mowich Lake. Not a lot of privacy between sites, but convenient and easy, especially if driving up from the south.

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