Rainier Photo Madness

Saturday, July 21, 2007: Today was photography day. I started by heading up to Paradise and doing the Niqually View Trail (1.2 miles and 200' elevation gain/loss). I took lots of wildflower photos as well as some scenics.

After returning to the visitor's center, I took another Paradise Trail, the Alta Vista Trail. It's 1.6 miles and gains/loses 540 feet in elevation. Both trails are asphalt covered. With today's drizzle, the steep Alta Vista Trail was a bit slick. I could feel myself losing traction on the way up. In better weather, the view is probably very good. Today it wasn't. On the way down I saw my first Hoary Marmots of the trip.

I headed east through the park, stopping to photograph Steven's Creek Falls and Martha Falls. The Steven's Canyon Road was cut several places by last November's storm, and there is still a short one-lane portion. The views from it are spectacular.

I went for a short walk upstream at Box Canyon, crossing a bridge and returning. Finally, I arrived at the Grove of Patriarchs Trail near the Stevens Canyon entrance. Part of the trail is closed due to bridge damage and I think boardwalk damage from the storm.

After spending a little time in the Ohanapecosh area, I headed back west. This time I stopped at Narada Falls. I went some distance below the falls on the Wonderland Trail before returning, but didn't go far enough to get to Madcap Falls.

I took the Trail of the Shadows (a flat .75 mile trail) at Longmire, where you can see remnants of Longmire's springs. The springs are still there, but many of the structures are gone. The trail goes through some surprising large second-growth forest. A bit further west I stopped at the Twin Firs Trail (.4 mi). The book suggested this was a flat trail. It is not! It gains/loses about 200' over a short distance. I enjoyed the trail and the magnificent forest it goes through, even though I found no sapsuckers.

At the end of the day I found I had taken 200 photos and I was afraid I had been shooting wildly. I needn't have worried. Most of them turned out pretty well.

Jasmer's Rainier Cabins, Ashford, WA