Our anniversary is in early September. We try to go every year to Sunrise at Mt. Rainier for a late afternoon hike. We take along a picnic and have dinner while watching the sun set. The idea came from a co-worker who told me that she would drive up to Chinook Pass after work with her husband and have a picnic. I loved the idea. We are not always able to make it but we have a couple of times including last year. It was rainy on Labor Day weekend so we waited another week.
I did not want to do a very strenuous hike so we decided to do the loop around Naches Peak. We like to start along the Pacific Crest Trail at Chinook Pass and loops around the peak. It is an easy hike just over 3 miles long.
It starts out with wide expansive views east before swinging west. Dewey Lakes appear in the distance and and the PCT trail turns south. The loop trail continues straight west coming to a beautiful little tarn lake with views of Mt. Rainier. The meadows are starting to yellow and the blueberry bushes are turning red. The ash is still green but accented with brilliant red berries.
The vistas continue as your travel west with views of Mt. Rainier and Cayuse Pass to the south before the trail swings north and enters the forest. Soon you arrive back at Highway 410 and Tipsoo Lakes. It is about 1/2 mile back up to the pass where we left our car. G was a sweetheart and hiked back to the car while I waited.
We decided to have our picnic along the lake. The weather was gorgeous and everyone had taken advantage of what could be the last good weekend in summer. It was crowded and the road was noisy from the Harleys out for a Sunday ride. But the food was good and the crowds soon disappeared. After our picnic, we drove up to Sunrise and watched the final rays of sun before heading back.
Along the Naches Trail south of Chinook Pass
Seed pods of Anemone occidentalis
Related – Burroughs Mountain 2008