Burroughs Mountain Trail


Click for larger image

The summer season at Mt. Rainier lasts only a few months, generally between June and September. With snow still on the ground in June and frost starting in September, the wildflower season is short. But in late July and early August, the mountain bursts in such color that conservationist John Muir described the area as “.. the most luxuriant and the most extravagantly beautiful of all the alpine gardens I ever beheld in all my mountain-top wanderings.”

On our previous snowshoeing trip to Mt. Rainier, only the Paradise section of the park was open. We returned in the summer on a four-night trip to see the wildflowers and explore the areas that were closed in the winter.

On our first day in the park, we crossed from the west to the east side of the park along Stevens Canyon Road, closed in the winter. The views to Mt. Rainier en route were exceptional, and we also walked a short trail for a look down into dramatic Box Canyon.

We spent most of the day in the Sunrise area of the park, northeast of Mt. Rainier. We’d not seen the mountain much from this side and enjoyed the different perspective. On the Burroughs Mountain Trail, we traversed a series of three mountains, each bringing us progressively closer to Mt. Rainier, with exceptional views along the way. The weather clear and warm, and we had a fabulous time.

Below are highlights from Aug 4th and 5th, 2022. Click any image for a larger view, or click the position to view the location on a map. And a map with our most recent log entries always is available at mvdirona.com/maps.

8/4/2022
Click for larger image
Sushi in the Park
We picked up some sushi in Seattle and had a wonderful picnic lunch at Wildwood Park in Puyallup on our way to Mt. Rainier.
Click for larger image
Cabin
For the next four nights we’ll be staying at this VRBO cabin in Ashford while we hike in Mt. Rainier.
Click for larger image
Back Deck
The cabin backs on to Big Creek and is wonderfully private.
Click for larger image
Big Creek
Jennifer checking out Big Creek behind our cabin.
Click for larger image
Deer
Several deer wandered through the lot. This mother and fawn very much liked the plants in the front yard of the cabin.
Click for larger image
Barbecuing
We’ve not cooked on a real barbecue since moving off Dirona. This huge free-standing model at the cabin is triple the size of the one we had on the boat.
Click for larger image
Dinner
Grilled Moroccan-spiced chicken on the deck of our VRBO cabin in Ashford, with a view to Big Creek.
8/5/2022
Click for larger image
Mt Rainier NP
At the Nisqually entrance to Mt Rainier National for a day of summer hiking.
Click for larger image
Is the Mountain Out?
Yes, it most certainly is in this view from Paradise Valley Road. On clear days, Mr. Rainier dominates the skyline south of Seattle. Despite the many mountains in the area, when someone asks “Is the Mountain Out,” they can only be referring to Rainier.
Click for larger image
Stevens Canyon
View to Mount Rainier from Stevens Canyon. When we were here earlier in the year to snowshoe, most of the park roads were closed for the season. This time, we’ll visit some of the places that are only accessible in the summer, starting with the scenic drive along Stevens Canyon Road.
Click for larger image
Construction
Stevens Canyon Road was the last major road built in Rainier National Park. It connects the Paradise area with State Route 123 near the eastern edge of the park and is the only east-west route in the park. Construction began in the 1930s, was suspended during World War II, and the road was finally completed in 1957. The road is only open in the summer and early fall, and right now is only open Friday through Sunday while a major rehabilitation project in underway. Here the road is down to a single lane due to the work being done.
Click for larger image
Stevens Canyon Tunnel
Approaching Stevens Canyon Tunnel, completed in 1937.
Click for larger image
Box Canyon Trailhead
Another great view to Rainier, this one from the Box Canyon trailhead.
Click for larger image
Box Canyon
A short walk from the trailhead brought us to a pedestrian bridge over Box Canyon. This is the view from the bridge to the Muddy Fork of the Cowlitz River, flowing 115 ft (35 m) below us through dramatic Box Canyon.
Click for larger image
White River Entrance
The White River Entrance at the northeast corner of Mt. Rainier National Park, with the mountain partially visible in the distance. The road here is closed in mid-October until late June or early July due to snowfall.
Click for larger image
Sunrise Park Road
One of many amazing views to Mt. Rainier from Sunrise Park Road. We’ve not seen the mountain much from this side and enjoyed the different perspective.
Click for larger image
Sunrise
Mt. Rainier is very popular in the summer. At just past 9am, the Sunrise parking lot is already half-full.
Click for larger image
Dwarf Lupine
Dwarf Lupine growing in a meadow along the Burroughs Mountain Trail. Mt Rainier is snow-covered most of the year, and bursts with color as the wildflowers bloom in late July and early August. One of the reasons we came this time of year was to enjoy the wildflower display.
Click for larger image
Shadow Lake
Looking north across tranquil Shadow Lake along the the Burroughs Mountain Trail in Mt Rainier National Park.
Click for larger image
Glacier Overlook
A great view to Mt Rainier at the Glacier Overlook along the Burroughs Mountain Trail. 11,138 ft (3,395 m) Little Tahoma is the peak just to the left.
Click for larger image
White River
The Inter Fork of the White River rises from Inter Glacier along the eastern flank of Mt. Rainier.
Click for larger image
Snowfield
Crossing the first of several small snowfields as we hike the Burroughs Mountain Trail, with a turquoise-colored glacial-fed lake visible in the valley below.
Click for larger image
Pink Mountain Heather
Pink Mountain Heather, with Scarlet Paintbrush at left, and Mt. Rainier in the background with Little Tahoma at left.
Click for larger image
Goats
A herd of mountain goats alongside the Burroughs Mountain Trail in Mt. Rainier National Park. Their hooves have a hard outer ring with a spongy center that helps them “stick” to rocks and be nimble climbers.
Click for larger image
1st Burroughs Mountain
The Borroughs Mountain Trial passes three Burroughs Mountains, the 1st is 7,159 feet (2,182 m) high, the 2nd is 7,402 feet (2,256 m) and the 3rd is 7,828 feet (2,385 m). Here we are walking alongside the summit of 1st Burroughs Mountain (out of the picture at right) at altitude 7,095 ft (2,163 m).
Click for larger image
Spreading Phlox
We passed many displays of spreading phlox on the trail.
Click for larger image
Trail Junction
At the junction with the Glacier Basin Trail. We’ve come 2.2 miles (3.5 km) from Sunrise, and are just over a half-mile (0.8 km) away from 2nd Burroughs Mountain.
Click for larger image
View North
The view north from the trail between 1st and 2nd Burroughs mountains is fabulous on this clear day, but it’s hard to compete with “The Mountain”.
Click for larger image
Trail to 2nd Burroughs
Walking towards 7,402 feet (2,256 m) 2nd Burroughs Mountain, foreground, with Mt. Rainier in the background.
Click for larger image
Emmons Glacier
Emmons Glacier on the northeast flank of Mt. Rainier has the largest surface area of any glacier in the contiguous United States at 4.3 sq mi (11 km2).
Click for larger image
2nd Burroughs
The fabulous view to Mt. Rainier from 7,402 feet (2,256 m) 2nd Burroughs Mountain. We’re getting closer and closer.
Click for larger image
Trail to 3rd Burroughs
The spectacular view to Mt Rainier as we descend from 2nd Burroughs on the final section of the Burroughs Mountain Trail. We have to give up some of our altitude and descend 400 ft (121 km) into a valley between the 2nd and 3rd Burroughs mountains. Then we will ascend 800 feet (242 m) to reach the 7,828-ft (2,385 m) summit of 3rd Burroughs, just out of the picture at right.
Click for larger image
Snow Bank
Climbing another snowfield on the ascent to 3rd Burroughs. The snow was fairly soft and slushy and not that slippery to walk on.
Click for larger image
View East
The view east to 2nd Burroughs from the snowfield we are climbing.
Click for larger image
3rd Burroughs
The spectacular view to Mt. Rainier from 7,828-ft (2,385 m) 3rd Burroughs Mountain.
Click for larger image
Lunch
Lunch with an amazing view to Mt. Rainier. We feel so close to the mountain and it looks so easy to reach the summit from here, but that’s another 6,500 ft (1,980 m) up.
Click for larger image
Winthrop Glacier
The side of Winthrop Glacier on the north flank of Mt. Rainier. The glacier starts at Columbia Crest, at the summit of Mt. Rainier, and covers 3.5 sq mi (9.1 sq km) with a volume of 18.5 billion cu ft (523 million cu m).
Click for larger image
Last Look
A final picture of Mt Rainier from 3rd Burroughs Mountain before we return back to Sunrise. We’re lucky to have such warm and sunny weather.
Click for larger image
Returning
Looking back to Mt. Rainier and 3rd Burroughs Mountain (partly visible at right) as we ascend back up to 2nd Burroughs from the valley between them.
Click for larger image
Horned Lark
A horned lark at the top of 2nd Burroughs Mountain.
Click for larger image
Chipmunk
An expectant chipmunk at 2nd Burroughs Mountain. This is a popular stop to either turnaround or rest before tackling 3rd Burroughs, and the foraging likely is quite good.
Click for larger image
Frozen Lake
View to Frozen Lake northeast of 1st Burroughs Mountain. We arrived at 1st Burroughs Mountain on the Sunrise Rim trail, and will return to Sunrise on the Sourdough Ridge trail past Frozen Lake.
Click for larger image
Little Tahoma
11,138 ft (3,395 m) Little Tahoma, a satellite peak of Mt. Rainier a little to its east.
Click for larger image
Antler Peak
7,017 ft (2,139 m) Antler Peak, viewed from the Sourdough Ridge Trail back to Sunrise.
Click for larger image
Crowds
The parking lot at Sunrise was full by the time we returned at 2pm, with cars parking along the road.
Click for larger image
Silver Forest Trail
Subalpine Daisy along the Silver Forest Trail. After returning to the Sunrise parking lot, we dropped of some of gear at the car for an easy walk to see some more wildflowers.
Click for larger image
Packwood Brewing Co
An early dinner at Packwood Brewing Company in Packwood on our way back to our Ashford cabin. We really enjoyed the meal and the ambiance, and are looking forward to returning.
Show locations on map Click the travel log icon on the left to see these locations on a map. And a map of our most recent log entries always is available at mvdirona.com/maps.

 
 


If your comment doesn't show up right away, send us email and we'll dredge it out of the spam filter.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.