Blue's Boots

Andrea's adventures on the trail…

Mowich Lake in Winter – MRNP

on March 18, 2015

I’ve never been up to Mowich Lake in the NW corner of Mt. Rainier Park in wintertime. It’s only been summertime hiking for the amazing wildflowers and views from Tolmie, along with blood-sucking mosquitoes and far too many people crowding the trails. With the light snowpack this year, I finally decided it was time 🙂

The gate is still closed at Paul Peak trailhead. I biked about a mile up the road and then locked up my bike. After 2.5 road miles, the Grindstone Trail cuts off the last two huge road switchbacks and is a great way to get up to Mowich Lake. It’s an “unmaintained” trail but still in pretty decent condition, considering the time of year. Quite a bit of mud, but nothing that a good pair of hiking boots can’t handle.

The Grindstone Trail comes out on the road about 1/4 mile before the Mowich Lake parking lot, short-cutting 1.5 road miles. On the day I went, I had the entire place to myself and it was heavenly!!  A lot of sunshine, a picnic lunch at the edge of the frozen lake, silence that was almost deafening, huge views, and not a single other person. Solo days like this do wonders to recharge my batteries and I always head home feeling so calm and peaceful afterward 🙂


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