Blue's Boots

Andrea's adventures on the trail…

Berkeley Park and Grand Park, MRNP

on August 18, 2014

We intended on hiking out to Skyscraper Pass out of Sunrise, Mt. Rainer. But then we came up on the Northern Loop trail leading to Berkeley Park and Grand Park, and changed our hiking plans 🙂  I’ve always seen Berkeley Park from the top, this was the first time I’ve ever been down into the Park itself.  Gorgeous!!!  The top section of wildflowers was mostly spent, but as we descended into the lower parts of it, there was a riot of color from all different kinds of Rainier wildflowers, as well as a beautiful stream running through it, and the largest freshwater spring I’ve ever seen. Even the bugs behaved themselves, which was a bonus for this hike.

We ooooh’d and aaaah’d our way through the wildflower meadows to the Berkeley Park campsite for a little rest, then continued down into a forested area and then began climbing up a ridge leading up to Grand Park. I’d never been to Grand before, and had only seen it from a distance. Even though the wildflowers up there were already bloomed out, it’s AMAZING to see a massive, completely flat meadow at the base of Rainier, where you’re normally hard-pressed to find 2 square feet of flat space. For any geologists reading this, please explain to me how such a perfectly flat, open meadow is formed from an active volcano?

After a nice lunch and laying down in the middle of the meadow enjoying a huge sky and Grand views, we headed back the 6 miles to the car. I’ll admit, the last two miles from Frozen Lake to the parking lot we were pretty rummy and tired, but it was one of the best hiking “detours” I’ve ever taken.  Even better to have spent a great day with great friends 🙂

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