Mile: 2394.8 to 2323.5 (18.7)
up/down: 4400/3100 feet
As we continue north through the Cascades the mountains and views just get better. Today was all about Mt Rainier.
We left camp with some clouds already forming and a bit of breeze. Both would dog us all day but it didn't rain. After dropping down to Bumping River we started a serious climb to the outskirts of Mt Rainier National Park. We would only walk the far eastern edge of the park but that was good enough. As we walked the ridge for several miles we had stunning views of the big glacier covered volcano. Our first view was the best with no clouds on the summit and incredible lenticular clouds above.
More views were seen as we moved along but now the clouds obscured the top.
We dropped into the basin with Dewey Lake, a beauty with size and backdrop. From there it was a steep climb out and down to the highway and Chinook Pass. This is the road entrance to the park from Yakima and connects to Seattle. Add in the trailhead and a Saturday afternoon in August and you can imagine we were drowned in a sea of humanity.
Two miles beyond the road is the small Sheep Lake. With a 8 mile waterless stretch after that we thought of pulling in at the lake early and calling it. Silly us. So close to the road there were literally dozens of people there and many tents lining the shore. What a zoo. We gathered water and trudged up the hill for another half mile until we found a flat spot. Done.