Tuesday, August 03, 2010

Quietest Stretch of the Wonderland Trail
A Golden Opportunity for Solitude

Mount Rainier's 93-mile Wonderland Trail is definitely one of the most beautiful and loved hiking trails in the country. Folks from all over the county take to all or sections of it each year. And more than a few folks who live within the shadows of the "Mountain" have hiked the entire trail either section by section or in one glorious outing. I have hiked a good portion of the trail with just bits and pieces left unexplored; particularly near Stevens Canyon yet to be hiked. My favorite sections of the trail are along the west side of the mountain. For not only do you pass some spectacular backcountry here, but also it is the only place on the trail away from roads and therefore away from the throngs of day hikers that often crowd the trails in places. True, that Summerland and Indian Bar are amazing places and claimed to be the best parts of the trail by so many--but they are also downright crowded. Try a hike to the Golden Lakes and Sunset Park. While not nearly as dramatic as Summerland-you will be amazed at the peacefulness of the area. I recently hiked to the Golden Lakes on a gorgeous July day and passed not a single soul from the lakes to Mowich Camp; a section of trail over 6 miles long. You won't have that experience on other places of the Wonderland Trail. What's you favorite section and why?

(Photo-Silence is golden at the Sunset park Ranger Cabin)

No comments: