August 10: Mount Rainier National Park and Sunrise Lookout

Mount Rainier and Sunrise  Lookout, with a hike to Frozen Lake, took first prize for overall beauty. The wildflowers were just starting to bloom and the alpine meadows at the top of the loop were spectacular. We saw a bear foraging for grubs at the base of the hike and a white tailed deer was enthusiastically rubbing velvet off his antlers on a low hanging branch. The view of Mount Rainier that day was unecumbered by clouds and the majestic scenes took your breath away. The forest is healthy and there are no obvious burn areas. The hike was strenuous because of the high altitude, but very doable and the reward of Frozen Lake, dramatic vistas and colorful display of wildflowers, so worth the effort. Clouds were billowing and starting to close in on the peak when we got to the half way mark, which made for dramatic photographs. The trail is a loop and you can start from either direction, and was created with a view of Mount Rainier. Before we headed out for our hike, we let Callie play and explore at the base of the trailhead because pets were not allowed on the trails.  It was cool enough that day to make nap time enjoyable for her and when we returned, we found her sound asleep. The lodge offers decent food and we shared a sandwich, bowl of soup and an ice cream cone for dessert.

There is a bear in the distance… It appeared much closer in real time!
Frozen Lake was not frozen…