Washington – Day 8 – Mt. Rainier

Rainier Valley

Day 7 was partially taken up with our descent from Lake of the Angels, partially taken up with our loitering at the trail head pondering what to do next and partially taken up driving toward Mt. Rainier.  We stopped off at a hotel along the way as it was suspected that accommodations nearer Mt. Rainier would get more sparse and more expensive.  The next day that suspicion was validated – everything near the park was sold out or very fancy.  This also made sense once we got into the park and saw just how busy it was by midday.

Mt. Rainier
Mt. Rainier from the end of our hike.

We arrived at the White River entrance to Mt. Rainier around 8:30 and drove in.  The initial plan was to do two hikes, so starting at the northern end of the park, we went to the White River Campground to hike toward Rainier on the Glacier Basin Trail.  The trail is reportedly 7 miles round trip, but there wasn’t really an end destination, though looking it up on the map afterward, we went about 3.5 miles in, so I think we made it to the point we were supposed to.  Much of the hike was along the White River which was fed by glacier melt from the Emmons Glacier which is the largest in the lower 48 states.  We did see a team of five hiking along the glacier further up – and according to some person I overheard, hiking Rainier is relatively simple though being a multi-day event.
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Moonrise

Moonrise

This was one of the shots that comprised the previous moon HDR pic.  The images in that one weren’t really that well aligned, so everything was quite soft.  This one didn’t have quite the detail on the edges, but overall it’s a much better picture.

Picture taken with Sony a6000, SEL 18-200mm lens @ 42mm, 1/25 sec, f/8, ISO 100

Rock Licking Mountain Goat

Rock Licking Mountain Goat

One more of the mountain goat that we came upon at the top of Mt. Ellinor.  They lick the rocks scavenging salt.  There are plentiful warnings that they will also lick / nibble / attack people to get at their sweaty and thus salty clothes.

Picture taken with Sony a6000, SEL 18-200mm lens @ 149mm, 1/2000 sec, f/6.3, ISO 100

Hydrangea

Hydrangea

These incredibly blue hydrangeas were blooming along the road and at the ranger station in Olympic National Forrest.  I waited too long to try to get a picture of one though and the sun was pretty high and bright by that time.

Picture taken with Sony a6000, SEL 18-200mm lens @ 162mm, 1/13 sec, f/10, ISO 100