Archives for posts with tag: ohanapacosh visitor center

At 14,410 feet, Mount Rainier is the fifth highest mountain in the continental 48 states.  Packwood, Washington is home to a total of 86 mountain summits and peaks.

There are 2 ways to get there in the spring, summer and fall.   Go east on Highway 12 out of Packwood for about 7 miles.  Take highway 123 left to the entrance to the park called the Stevens Canyon entrance.  After you are in the park are hundred’s of trails, overlooks, alpine lakes and waterfalls to stop at as you climb to the main visitor center at Paradise and Paradise Inn.  You can also get to Mt Rainier National Park via Skate Creek Road and the Nisqually entrance.  In Packwood, to the right of the Shell station is Skate Creek Road.  This is a windy road that follows the river.  This is a beautiful river with many spots to stop along the way for fishing and wading.  It’s about 20 miles till you get to the end and then go right to the Nisqually entrance of the park.  This way to Paradise also hosts many many trailheads, waterfalls and picnic areas to stop at.  In the park don’t miss Nisqually Falls…spectacular!  After reaching Paradise take some time to do some hiking.  In summer the restored wildflower areas are beautiful.  You can drive the whole loop back to Packwood.  If you came in the Steven’s Canyon or Nisqually entrance go back the other way…both access roads are worth the drive and the views and lead back to Packwood.  This loop is a total of about 75 miles.  If you are staying with us in Packwood and only have one day and want to get a good overview of the park, this is the trip for you.  Start early in the morning if you want to drive up to Paradise.  There is limited parking up there.

IN THE PARK:

Off Stevens Canyon Rd

– Grove of the Patriarchs – After you enter the Stevens Canyon entrance to Mt Rainier National Park STOP in the first parking area to the right.  The hike is only about 1 mi and you cross over a cool bridge over the river and enter an elevated walk way system that features some of the oldest and largest douglas fir trees you have ever seen.  This is a great hike for the kids and grandparents!  A must when staying in Packwood, WA!  Hike 1 mi

-Box Canyon –  one of the most unusual features in the park, and Nickel Creek Camp is a rustic backcountry retreat perfect for kids’ first backpacking adventure. The trail explores the rim of the deep chasm of Box Canyon before swinging out through the forest for a woodland ramble into the Nickel Creek valley along this short section of the Wonderland Trail. Hike 2 mi

-Bench and Snow lakes – are found just above the head of the Stevens Canyon Road, but you’ll feel like you’re deep in the backcountry once you immerse yourself in the cool lakes basin. The lakes are clear and pristine, and the upper lake, Snow, is nestled in a snow-filled cirque with fabulous views up to Unicorn Peak. Bench Lake boasts a great view of Mount Rainier. Hike 2.6 mi

-Lake Louise Trail – From the shores of Reflection Lake, this trail leads down jumbled talus slopes to the cold blue waters of Louise Lake, a pretty pool beneath the rocky wall of lower Mazama Ridge. The trail is gentle and kid-friendly, and since access is so easy, it makes a great stroll on a hot summer day. Hike 2 mi

Westside Road Trails

– Narada Falls  -in the midst of the Paradise River pounds down into a deep plunge pool, sending out a curtain of spray that provides a refreshingly cool breeze to hikers on this route. You hike the falls from top to bottom before climbing through salmonberry brambles and rich forest ecosystems to reach the upper trailhead at Reflection Lakes. Hike 3 mi

– Comet Falls – This hike takes you by Comet Falls, one of the tallest falls in the park, named for its similarity to a comet’s tail. A short ascent through enchanting forest to a waterfall that drops over a 300-foot cliff. This hike takes you past two other waterfalls before you reach the highest waterfall accessible by trail in Mount Rainier National Park. Hike 3.8 mi

-Longmire Visitor Center – this area has many trial head along with a restaurant and gift shop.  Ask the ranger if he can recommend some trails for your hiking level in this area.

Enjoy!

Stay with us, you will not be disappointed!

http://www.greatnorthwestcabins.com

503-492-8783

Call anyday 9-9 PST for information and reservations.  We take visa or mc and dogs are welcome!

Silver Falls

When you are staying in Packwood a morning or afternoon visit is well worth your time to Silver Falls.  Go east on highway 12 from Packwood for 7 miles.  Go left onto highway 123 till you reach the Ohanapacosh Visitor Center and Campground.  It will be on your left.  Go in and park in front of the visitor center.  This is small  cozy visitor center with many exhibits and things to explore.  After you have learned about the mountain and the area,  take a fabulous 2 mi hike.  The trail begins right behind the visitor center.  It slowly meanders up past the hot springs.  Years ago there were hot spring baths and a resort here.  All that is gone now in an effort the return the area back to it’s natural state.  You can still smell the sulfur and touch the hot water coming from the ground.  The rest of the trail goes through a large growth forest and crosses over Laughing Creek.  After you cross the creek the trail rises to an intersection, go left down the hill to Silver Falls.  Once you round the bend you will be in awe.  Silver Falls is one of the most rushing and dramatic  falls in the park.  Bring the camera, there is a walking bridge that goes over the gorge and there are many opportunities for pictures and wildlife.

Silver Falls Gorge and Bridge

On the opposite side you can get close to the falls and feel the spray.  Don’t get too close it is slippery and dangerous.  This is a great hike for kids.  We have done this hike many times in the early morning or even after dinner in the summer while it’s still light out.

Have a Great Stay in our Great NW Cabin!

To reserve one of our cabins in Packwood go to http://www.greatnorthwestcabins.com

Or call us anyday from 9-9 PST at 503-492-8783

We take visa or mc and dogs are welcome