Group 5.   Some hikes in the Washington Cascades.

9 March 04.

These hikes are in the southern part of the state along the Cascade Crest Trail up to the region around Mt. Rainier National Park and took place over the past 20 years.  My hiking in this region goes back to the 1950s when my brother and I went with my Dad into Pear and Apple Lakes above Bumping Lake to try to catch some fish.

As one leaves the Columbia River and heads north along the Cascade Crest, the first really interesting area encountered is a collection of meadows and lakes know as Indian Heaven.  

 Clear Lake in Indian Heaven.   A higher resolution photograph would show numerous fish rising, even in mid-day.  

   A typical meadow in Indian Heaven.  Earlier in the year these areas are loaded with flowers and misquotes.

Traveling north, the next feature encountered is Mt. Adams.  Here's a sampling of photos from a backpack along the west side.

 Crossing a creek along the southwest side.

 My camp high on a ridge with a view to Mt. Rainier. The camp location was picked because it was close to a small off trail lake.  

  The early morning calm on the west side of Mt. Adams.

 The northeast side of  Mt Rainier, known as "Sunrise Park."  There are numerous wonderful hikes out of this area.  

  Looking west from the summit of Burroughs Mountain in Rainier National Park.  Here an old friend, Linus, and I had repeated the hike some 30 years after we did it the first time.   During our first walk on the hill we encountered a total white-out on the descent.   We thought we were on the right course when the fog moved in.  After a bit we got out a compass only to find that we had circled around by 180 degrees.  Nothing like an experience of this sort to turn one into a believer!

  The Cowlitz Chimneys as seen from Burroughs Mountain.  These peaks would be considered more exciting and interesting if they were not hiding within the shadow of Mt. Rainier.

Mt. Rainier, as the dominant feature in this part of the state, lies just west of the body of the Cascade range.   As such, the Cascade Crest Trail passes along the ridges on the east of the "big one."   But there are other features.

  Major peaks south of Mt. Rainier, but still north of Mt. Adams and Mt. St. Helens are the Goat Rocks, dominated by Gilbert Peak, at the left extreme of this photo taken from the summit of Old Snowy, a high but otherwise less than spectacular peak.  

 Mt. Rainier often seems to hang in the distant air when viewed from the surrounding regions.  Here's it's seen from Old Snowy in the Goat Rocks.

 Mt. Adams as seen from the Goat Rocks.  Mt. Adams is an often overlooked feature in the state and offers some great alpine experiences.

 This split rock formation in the Goat Rocks is a classic feature on the Cascade Crest "Trail" before it crosses the ridge near Old Snowy and heads north.   The trail is buried under many feet of snow on this early July day.

The Crest Trail passes through the Goat Rocks and slowly drops to White Pass where it enters a region with hundreds of lakes.  The trail follows the high ridge to the west of most of the water, but close to much of it if further exploration is desired.  This region is now appropriately named the William O. Douglas Wilderness Area.   The reader of this site with curiosity about the nature of this country nearly a century ago is referred to the Douglas classic "Of Men and Mountains."

  Here we see American Lake.   This lake is only a mile off of the Crest Trail and is the source of the American River, a fishing destination of years long past.  

 Beargrass near American Lake as fog blows over the ridge from Cougar and Bumping Lakes.

  Cougar Lakes as seen from the ridge above American Lake. The Lakes can be reached cross country from here, or via trail from American Lake.   A corner of Bumping Lake can be seen in the upper left corner of this photo.

 Here's a shot of grandson Chris on the ridge between American and Cougar Lakes.

The next feature to the north is Chinook Pass.   This area is scenic for both the hiker and the automobile traveler.  The pass is closed for much of the year, but usually opens by mid June and remains open into September or October.  The hiking season where the trails are bare of snow is shorter.  But the folks willing to camp on snow can escape the crowds of later summer.   (We still have to return to catch the flowers in the meadows!)

 Grandson Tom snow camping with me near Chinook Pass in 2002.  

 The larger feature immediately above our tent is Seymore Peak.  The summit on the skyline with the dominant snow covered slope is directly above Cougar Lakes, show in previous photos.

  Tom loads a few more photos into the digital camera he carried. The antenna is equipment that both of us used for some amateur radio activities.