Topic: Spray Park
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August 26, 2013 at 3:20 PM
I just returned from a five-day backpack on the northern tier of Mount Rainier’s Wonderland Trail and I’m here to report: You can do just a section of the famed trail — not the whole 90+ miles — and still have a wonderful time communing with our mountain.
You also don’t have to set any speed records to come away with a great sense of accomplishment — not to mention a big, goofy smile on your face.
I went with my 21-year-old daughter, with whom I’ve been traveling the world for years, and this ended up near the top of our best-trips-ever list.
She had mentioned a couple years back a captivation with hiking the Wonderland, the famed loop route around Washington’s iconic peak. But it’s been a while since I’ve backpacked multiple nights, and the Wonderland is known as a challenging up-and-down grind. Plus, there was the daunting logistical challenge of finding two weeks or so in which to do it — in both of our busy schedules — along with all the planning and food caching and permitting required.
So I took a look at doing it in sections. The mountain’s less-visited north side — including the Spray Park alternate route, with what’s reputed to be some of the national park’s most spectacular scenery — sounded like a good starter.
I researched it and proposed a 24-mile, four-night trip, spread across four different trailside camps, that wouldn’t wear us out and would give (more…)
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