2016 Anniversary Hike at Mt Rainier

Bench Lake - Mt Rainier
Mt Rainier from the Snow Lake Trail

Our tradition is to do a hike at Mt. Rainier. We usually try to do Mt. Burroughs as we did in 2014 but this year we decided to do a different hike. We hadn’t done Bench and Snow Lakes for several years. It was also an easy and good hike for early fall.

We left around 9am thinking it would be an easy drive – but nothing is easy any more on the weekend in the Seattle area. We made it to just about Southcenter and the traffic stopped. We remembered that they were working on I5 and had closed 3 (yes 3!) of the 4 lanes. So we headed to our alternative to only find out that there was also construction and a closure farther down. Time for Google maps to give us an alternative through Spanaway.

We finally made the trailhead almost 3 1/2 hours late – almost an hour more than normal. Fortunately the day was warm and sunny and we headed out on the trail. It is a pretty easy trail with some up to a meadow along with a bit more before dropping down to Snow Lake. We continued on beyond the lake to the talus slopes for some solitude.

After lunch and relaxing, we returned to the car. We realized it wasn’t any farther to drive the rest of the way around Mt. Rainier so we headed out towards Box Canyon, Cayuse Pass and home. Another memorable Anniversary hike.

Here are some of the views from the trail.

Bench Lake - Mt Rainier
Rusty reds of the blueberries bushes along the trail

Bench Lake - Mt Rainier
Mt Rainier under a partially lenticular cloud

Bench Lake - Mt Rainier
George in the meadow

Bench Lake - Mt Rainier
Unicorn Peak

Bench Lake - Mt Rainier
Overlooking Box Canyon

Bench Lake - Mt Rainier
Snow Lake

Bench Lake - Mt Rainier
Happy Anniversary


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