November at Mt. Rainier

Monday, October 31, 2016

Even though more roads have closed in Mt. Rainier National Park, Cayuse Pass & Chinook Pass are still open, meaning there's still lots of Mt. Rainier to explore.  We actually love hiking the trails this time of year, as it often seems like we have the mountain to ourselves.  Stay down low and hike snow-free trails with waterfall after waterfall after waterfall -- or go up high and visit the snow.

Here are some of our favorite November trails:

  • Chinook Pass/Tipsoo Lake area.  At 5432', Chinook Pass now has some snow but most of the trails can be hiked just in boots -- and the views of Mt. Rainier from here on a clear day are incredible!  You also get some great views over to Eastern Washington.  Learn more. 
  • Ohanapecosh area.  You can still hike to the Grove of the Patriarchs and Silver Falls, even though the Stevens Canyon Road is now closed.  There's a small parking area just south of the Stevens Canyon entrance (on the west side of Highway 410) where you can park -- or many park on this side of the gate and walk in.  Just ask us for a map when you check in.  The Eastside Trail is also an awesome Fall trail, with bridges & waterfalls all along the way.  The trails around the Ohanapecosh River are snow-free.  If you go up high (Shriner Peak, Laughinwater Creek, Cowlitz Divide), you will find snow.  Learn more. 
  • Crystal Lakes.  The trailhead for Crystal Lakes is just about 4 miles from here, and it's a great Fall hike.  There is some snow on the trail as you climb.  If Mt. Rainier is cooperating, you'll get some great views through the trees.  Learn more. 
  • Skate Creek Road to Ashford & Paradise:  The Stevens Canyon Road is now closed, but we love driving the Skate Creek Road from Packwood to Ashford.  It's a winding drive through a gorge, and it's beautiful.  You'll see a sign for this road right before you reach the gas station in Packwood.
  • National Forest Trails:  And, of course, you have dozens and dozens of trails in the National Forest to explore!  Learn more. As the snow comes, access to some of the higher elevation trails will close, but as of right now (October 31) all roads are still open.   Click here for current road status.

Of course, conditions can change at any time.  Feel free to call us if you have specific questions, and we'll do our best to answer them.  We want you to love this area as much as we do.