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Trip Report

Grove of the Patriarchs Loop, Silver Falls Loop — Saturday, Jul. 10, 2010

Mount Rainier Area
Silver Falls on Ohanapecosh river.
Silver Falls at Mt. Rainier 7/10/2010 Ohanapecosh campground was our starting point for a hike combining two short trails of very diverse natures: Silver Falls Loop and Grove of the Patriarchs. Silver Falls Loop is a forest trail with a few creek crossings, views of the Ohanapecosh river and gorge and of course the falls. The river was high with early summer snow melt, making the falls thunder and throw up an immense cloud of spray. Coming up from the south in forest the trail arrives at the top of the gorge rim where one suddenly sees the river, falls, upper gorge and plunge pool. After switchbacking down into the gorge the trail crosses the river on a high very sturdy bridge and continues north on the other side. Just a little ways up is the prime falls viewing, relaxing spot on rock slabs. Here is shade, a view, and a cool breeze from the water. What a spot! We came back here on return even tho it was a slight detour requiring an extra 1/2 mile of uphill hiking. Uphill and across the Stevens Canyon road we hiked on the East Side Trail and then across the suspension bridge over the Ohanapecosh River into the Grove Of The Patriarchs. Here we admired the 1000 year old cedar and douglas firs. It was a cool shady spot for lunch. We had a light sprinkling of forest flowers: Salmonberry, Canadian Dogwood, Blue Daisy, Nootka Rose, Foamflower, Twinflower, Thimbleberry. And Digitalis, Goatsbeard, Fireweed, Beargrass, and Lupine on the approach road. On the way home we drove up to Chinook Pass for a different view of Rainier. At the top, 3500 feet higher than Ohanapecosh, all was buried in 2 - 4 feet of snow. Little Tipsoo Lake was still frozen. Stats: 6 miles and 400 ft. gain high point 2350 ft. 110 miles from my Seattle home Robert Michelson
Big cedar in Grove of the Patriarchs.
Rainier from Hiway 123 near Cayuse Pass.
Suspension bridge into the Grove of the Patriarchs.

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