Shadow Lake & Burroughs Mountain

Monday, June 29, 2009

A wonderful hike in Mt. Rainier National Park.

Sunrise is now open!  The road to the very top opened on Friday, June 26 and the hiking is just marvelous.

We drove up there first thing on Friday so we could scope it out for our guests, and then went hiking with our friends Tena, Yvonne and Eric yesterday.  It was a beautiful, clear, warm, sunny day and the hiking could not have been more perfect.

The views of Mt. Rainier from the parking lot are just amazing, so even if you don’t have much time for hiking, it’s still worth the drive.  We started off on the Emmons Vista trail—perfect views and we ran into some of our guests with a 2 and 6 year old, so the trail is really easy.  Great photo ops!

We then took the trail up to Shadow Lake.  There’s still a little bit of snow around the lake, but it was beautiful and serene.  Some phlox were already blooming along the trail, and we actually saw a few glacier lilies too.  We’ve heard reports of frogs at Shadow Lake already coming out of hibernation, but they were quiet while we were there.  This lake is a great destination with kids!  The trail is easy, and there’s even a pit toilet at the lake.  It’s also a nice spot for a picnic lunch. 

We headed up another .2 miles to the Glacier Overlook.  Another wonderful photo op, plus we pulled out the binoculars and got some great views of climbers coming down from the summit.  We went another mile (approximately) up to First Burroughs.  There are still some snowfields to cross, but none of us had poles and we still crossed them successfully.  Beautiful views from First Burroughs—of the summit (of course), Mt. Fremont Lookout and lots of clouds hanging over the Seattle area.  From First Burroughs, we took the trail back to Sunrise that took us past Frozen Lake and had a wonderful time.  There was more snow on this side of the slope, but again, it was easily hikable and there were lots of people out enjoying the sun. 

All in all, a perfect Sunday afternoon with about 5 miles roundtrip and maybe 800-1000 feet elevation loss and gain!  This is a great loop for adult hikers.  If there had been kids with us, we probably would have gone to Shadow Lake only (and maybe the Glacier Overlook) but would wait a few more weeks before taking them to Frozen Lake.

Oh, one other very cool thing:  the Indian Paintbrush were starting to bloom along the side of the Sunrise road in the afternoon!  They weren’t out when we drove up in the morning—but came out just a few hours later.  That probably means the wildflowers will start to come out at the top within 1-2 weeks.

Email or call us if you have questions. Better yet, come up and stay!  See you soon.