Skyline Trail at Mt. Rainier

Next week I’m going back to The Enchantments with a few friends. We’re spending four days up there hiking around and checking out some of the peaks – I’m really looking forward to it. Everyone arrived Friday morning and we decided to head to Mt. Rainier to putz around Paradise. We ended up doing the Skyline Trail, a ~5.5 mile hike. I wasn’t aware at the time, but it was a trail that I’ve wanted to do. I’ve seen people out hiking on trails that looked pretty cool and that I wanted to visit sometime, and the Skyline Trail ended up being that trail!

The clouds were unfortunately covering up the peak right until we started driving out of the park, but we still got some amazing views of the mountains around us and the Paradise area.

Brad taking some photos

Brad taking some photos

02-climbing-skyline-trail

A cool rock staircase winding around a bend on the cliff

We saw about 10 marmots along this hike – I wasn’t prepared to see so many, but then again I have only been to Paradise when it’s been snowless once, last summer with my folks. This particular marmot was trying to get at a squirrel that was hiding under a rock just prior to when this photo was taken. The squirrel was sqealing at the marmot, and the marmot would occasionally real back from what looked like a counterattack.

This marmot poked it's head out after having a fight with a squirrel who was hiding under a rock

This marmot poked it’s head out after having a fight with a squirrel who was hiding under a rock

I like where this trail passes through the trees

I like where this trail passes through the trees

Taking in the views

Taking in the views

There was one semi-large snowfield that we had to cross, which I was pretty surprised wasn’t melted away. There was a small precarious footpath that ran through it. We watched a couple struggle to get down it on foot, so I figured why not just slide down – despite having nothing to keep us from getting soaked. It was a blast, and totally worth it! There’s a short video just below this photo.

Pretty much the only snowfield we had to cross, but we had fun doing so!

Pretty much the only snowfield we had to cross, but we had fun doing so!

It’s amazing looking at all the geographical changes that have occurred on the mountains.

It's amazing to see the work the glaciers did to the area

It’s amazing to see the work the glaciers did to the area

Another marmot, this one was sunning itself on a rock with not a care in the world. It would have been nice to be him for a moment.

A marmot was enjoying himself - sunning on a rock atop a hill

A marmot was enjoying himself – sunning on a rock atop a hill

Brad crossing a stream

Brad crossing a stream

The snow patch we crossed is up near the top of this photo, it looks pretty high up there!

The snow patch we crossed is up near the top of this photo, it looks pretty high up there!

Near the end of the Skyline Trail

Near the end of the Skyline Trail

I liked how the sun was shining through the trees at this point

I liked how the sun was shining through the trees at this point

Click this next photo to view the panorama at a larger size, it’s quite a magnificent place.

Panorama of the valley below Paradise

Panorama of the valley below Paradise

Hiking through some cool trees on the side of the trail

Hiking through some cool trees on the side of the trail

I’m glad we ended up doing a little bit longer of a trail than I expected we would. It felt good to be hiking again, and I can’t wait for the backpacking trip this coming week.