Hiking Washington: Summit Lake Trail

I have always loved Washington. I’ve always loved the great outdoors, the beauty and magnificence of Mt. Rainier looming over the countryside. As a kid I went camping often, yet as I got older things slowed down and we didn’t really get outside as much. Fast forward to getting married, Army life, and lots of moving. When I decided that I wanted to be out here this summer I decided that I wanted to try and knock out all kinds of things that I wasn’t able to do before–or didn’t care as much to do. I started making a bucket list of things I wanted to do this summer. I had been in contact with my brother in trying to help me with this bucket list…Which I’ll be honest he didn’t give much input. “Did you want to go to Portland?” He had asked me via text message. I responded, “Did you want to go to Stumptown?” I don’t think he ever answered my question.

Things then got crazy for him, then for us, then we learned of his passing. I hate that I couldn’t do all these things that I wanted to do–and sort of drag him along. I know he would’ve been up for any kind of hikes and things I wanted to do, but it’s sad that he really didn’t get a chance to. I really think he would’ve enjoyed it.

So that brings me to a few days ago, my dad has been trying to get in all of the things he wants to do before it gets cold out. There’s things that need to be fixed, gutters that need to be cleaned, a house that needs to be painted.  After painstaking hours of moving a shed, cleaning a roof, cleaning the siding on the house, multiple trips to the hardware store, and lots of thoughts about painting a house, he said to me one day, “I just want to do something fun.”

One thing that you should know about my dad: he’s a hard worker. Maybe working is all he’s really known, had an interest in, but much of his life has been work. Not a ton of time to do other things, let alone do fun trips and let go a bit. Now he’s on the verge of retiring–so {in my opinion} now it’s time to do something fun.

Me, I’ve been researching the crap out of hikes. Where to go, where people have been the most, easy hikes, hard hikes, great views, lakes, waterfalls, rivers, mountains, mountain goats, bears…It’s been a bit of an obsession. So of course I went ahead and suggested a hike.

So here is some shots from yesterday’s hike up at Summit Lake in Washington. If you are curious to know where this hike is and you’re in the area, you can find more information here.  You do need a park pass {you can buy them online}, or you can get one at the ranger station {you pass it on the way in}. This isn’t far outside of the Puyallup/Graham/Orting area, on the outskirts of Mt. Rainier National park.

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Old growth trees in the park. Lots of them have moss like this on them.

FullSizeRender-5FullSizeRender-7FullSizeRender-6Some parts of the trail were steep or dropped of to one side. You can sort of tell by the photo of my dad on the left.

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Mt. Rainier peeking through the trees.

There were some flowers left in the park at the time. There were a ton of butterflies, they really were attracted to the flowers.
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There are lots of signs throughout the hike. Most say no campfires {you can backpack in here and stay the night at a number of campsites}. The summer has been unseasonably dry, and everything has been lighting up like a tinder box.

The top right photo is a photo of blueberries {there were lots of them on this hike} and the bottom right is a far off shot of Summit Lake.

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This is my favorite photo from the hike.
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No hike is complete without a panorama!

FullSizeRender-16 FullSizeRender-17The photo on the left is a shot of Twin Lake. On the right is a shot of a lone Fireweed.

FullSizeRender-18This trail varied a lot. Sometimes it was steep, other times it was flat, sometimes there were rocks, other times there was roots. Sometimes the trail was narrow, other times it was real nice and wide.

Hopefully there will be lots of other adventures to share with everyone. Stay tuned for tomorrow’s WIAW and I’m going to talk about what I ate on hiking day 😉

Have a great week,

-M

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