One of the more breathtaking (and, for me, breathless) loop trails that I hike at Mount Rainier is to go up Golden Gate trail to the skyline trail to Panorama Point.
Skyline Trail is well named.
The lower skyline trail is permanently closed, except for those adept with ice axes. So up one goes even farther.
There is a spot on the Upper Skyline Trail that has much better views than Panorama Point does:
But Panorama Point has a potty (as well as crowds of the many folk who hike directly to and from it starting at the visitor center.
I never go into this hike thinking I will make it, I give myself permission before I start to just go as far as I can and enjoy the beauty that I see, but I always do.
If you ever get a chance to go to Paradise, this is a great loop since many do not go beyond the there and back to Panorama Point, so you have less crowded trails. By hiking up Golden Gate in the morning you get shade for the steepest uphill. When you get above the tree line there is usually a nice breeze for the (not entirely insignificant) remainder of the uphill. There is some scree scramble but not too bad. If it helps you to gauge: I hike in hiking shoes (not boots), carry a mono-pod/hiking stick and don’t have exceptionally good balance. I am a bit nervous, but have never had a problem.
I believe these are Japanese Anenomes starting to bloom amongst the crocosmia.
In contrast with yesterday’s winter storm clouds:
For Wordless Wednesday