Check this beauty out!Rob and I drove to Mt. Rainier last week to go on a hike. The picture above is one of a only a few that we have where you can actually see the mountain. The fog rolled in shortly after, so we could only assume the mountain was still there as we hiked at it's base.
There are SO many hikes in the National Park (I somehow didn't know this prior to the trip). We chose the Skyline Loop (at Paradise) which is a really popular hike, but because it was my first time hiking around the mountain we wanted the best views (a description of the hike says, "The Skyline Trail above Paradise takes you quickly to nearly 7,000 feet-about as high as you can get in a short hike from the car anywhere in Washington state. The loop trip is spectacular on clear days, with views to the Rainier summit above, wildflowers all around and a view south as far as Mount Hood below.").
It is a little strange to hike on a busy trail, I felt like I was in the middle of a pilgrimage at times, climbing stairs in a line with other hikers. But it really was beautiful and obvious why it's so popular.
The hike turned out to be a little more than we bargained for, just because there was a lot of snow on the trail. Something about me and hiking: going down steep trails freaks me out - I see visions of myself sliding or stumbling to the depths below - but during this hike I learned a new fear: hiking in snow (especially when it's combined with a downward slope).
For example: (yep, we did this)
I survived, there were actually only about five stretches of snow and Rob held my hand (literally - I'm a wuss, I tell you!) through the stretch that was the scariest...
...this one. Just kidding.
Us on the trail Skyline Loop (wherever you see fog, just picture a 14,411 foot mountain):
The bathroom on the trail was cool. I pretended we were actually climbing the mtn and this was basecamp.
We had to take the trail slow because of all the people and the snow. It was taking longer than we had time for, so we saved a mile by cutting through the trail via the Golden Gate Trail, which is still 1.5 miles long (we had come 2.5 miles already).
I don't know what the second half of the loop looked like, but the Golden Gate trail was so so beautiful:
What a great hike! Hopefully we'll spend more time at the National Park in the future!