Not far inside the southwest entrance to Mount Rainier National Park, Kautz Creek is a good stop for a bit of out of car time. There is a short, flat path to the creek and a nice view of the mountain framed by trees. The board walk to the viewpoint is comfortably handicap accessible.
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.
Last Sunday we took an outing to get apricots in Eastern Washington. An almost annual trek. Almost because time goes so quickly that I miss the brief period when you can get them some years.
Our little trip took us through a lot of the landscapes of Washington State. From an island in Puget Sound, through the Cascade mountains to areas of Eastern Washington that are both fertile and arid. All beautiful, but each with its own personality.
Even though it was only a day trip the summer heat led us to leave the dogs at dad’s so they could have a day on the beach instead of a hot car ride. He lives on an island.
No matter how I try, I can’t seem to be systematic about publishing photos. These are from my May trip to Guilin, in China, during their rainy season. The last full day we were there we wandered around the lakes in the middle of town in the rain. We were wet through and through, but we didn’t want to waste any time in that lovely city.