NW Road Trip Day 7

Saturday, 9 June, 2012

My last day was going to be mostly spent on the road, driving back to Vancouver from Mount Rainier. It was another overcast (but fortunately not raining) day as I packed up my campsite and got ready for the trip home.

One last look up the glacier at Mount Rainier in the clouds.

I had a couple of stops identified in the park before heading out. The road to the west side of the park was another adventure - long and winding, with huge drop offs. Sadly, with the low clouds there were not any views. 

A friend from my campsite, keeping me company.

One of the more interesting features of this part of the park is a box canyon, right off the road. This narrow canyon drops over 180’ from the main road, to the river below. It’s an impressive view, with the river raging far below, through the narrow canyon.

The river cutting through the sup-narrow canyon.

After stopping to do the short walk around the canyon viewpoint, I headed for my next stop a short hike to Silver Falls. The 1/2 mile hike was all downhill, making the return trip less fun. The trail was very green, and you could hear the river most of the way.

The lush, green trail to Silver Falls.

I spent a bit of time in and around the falls, taking some pictures and enjoying the views.

I hiked back up the hill, and headed to my last stop, the Grove of the Patriarchs Trail. This short interpretive trail takes you though old growth forest, across a suspension  bridge across the Ohanapecosh River, onto an island that has protected a grove of very old, very large trees.

A rare self portrait, with the roots of a very big tree.

The trail was an easy one, and one of the busiest I’d been on during my time in the park. The trees lived up to their billing. Some over 1,000 years old, and upwards of 50’ in circumference. It was a very enjoyable walk, although the pictures just don’t do it justice.

More big trees, this one on the ground.

After this last stop, it was pretty much a straight drive home. Mostly highway, it wasn’t very exciting, and the weather stayed pretty much the same, not leaving me much to do but think about how great this trip could have been if the weather had been better.