Exploring the Ohanapecosh Area of Mt. Rainier National Park
Giant trees over 25 feet wide and over 1,000 years old can be easily seen in the Ohanapecosh Area at the Grove of the Patriarchs. Silver Falls is the largest volume waterfall in Mt. Rainier National Park and is also an easy hike from the parking area near the Grove of the Patriarchs. Check out the Eastside Trail with waterfall after waterfall after waterfall, or climb to Shriner Peak for unparalleled views.
The Ohanapecosh is accessible from here via Highway 123 (Cayuse Pass). Cayuse Pass typically opens in early to mid-May and closes with the first heavy snowfall (usually mid-November).
GO FOR A HIKE.
Most visitors take a short walk across the suspension bridge to the Grove of the Patriarchs or a short hike to the thunder of Silver Falls. But for those with more time (or energy), there are other marvelous places to explore.
Click here for the Park’s map of Ohanapecosh area trails.
The Washington Trails Association is also a great source of hiking information, and members even post trip reports showing recent conditions. (Consider a donation or membership as their information helps all of us enjoy these trails.)
Grove of the Patriarchs 1.3 mi RT 1000 year-old trees on an island in the Ohanapecosh River, accessible via a gentle suspension bridge. Click here.
Hot Springs Nature Trail 4 mi RT A self-guided loop behind the Visitors Center. Click here.
Silver Falls Trail 1 mi RT from Stevens Canyon Road; .6 mi RT from Highway 123; 2.7 mi RT from Ohanapecosh Campground. You’ll often hear this waterfall long before you see it as it is the Park’s largest volume waterfall – and it’s gorgeous. Click here.
Eastside Trail 11.5 mi one-way but most hikers do shorter sections. This gorgeous trail parallels the Ohanapecosh River with cascading waterfalls, and goes all the way from the Ohanapecosh to Chinook Pass. Click here.
Shriner Peak 8.4 mi RT A steep climb to incredible views, with nice summer wildflowers. Click here.
Laughingwater Creek 12 mi RT to Three Lakes Camp An uncrowded trail to a trio of alpine lakes. Click here.
Cowlitz Divide 15 mi RT but many hikers do a shorter section. Gorgeous views and an uncrowded strenuous trail. Click here.
The Ohanapecosh Visitor Center offers a wealth of information and is often less crowded than the Visitor Centers at Paradise and Sunrise. For 2016, the Park plans to keep it open through September 18. Click here.
The small town of Packwood (about 15 minutes south of the Ohanapecosh Campground) has numerous small restaurants and shops. It also has gas and a small supermarket.
The Ohanapecosh area is generally accessible whenever Cayuse Pass is open. Cayuse Pass usually opens in late April/early May and stays open through late November.
Click here for Cayuse Pass and Chinook Pass information.