Summerland & Sunrise (Jul 17-19, 2009)

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summerland_sunrise_coverConditions: Backpack, Day Hike
Gear: overnight gear
Map: USGS Sunrise, USGS Mt Rainier East
Area: Sunrise, Mount Rainier NP
Reference: 50 Hikes in Mount Rainier National Park
Stats: 9.58mi, 2852' gain (round trip) for Summerland (a backpack), 4.6mi, 1146' gain (loop trip) for Emmons Overlook

We didn't have permits in hand but thought we'd try to give it a go and get a last minute permit. We might have some luck showing up on a Friday...

We did get lucky and got an overnight permit for Summerland. Had the permit not worked out we could have always just done several day hikes instead.

We headed up the flattish Wonderland Trail to the log crossing for Fryingpan Creek. Once on the other side, there are a series of switchbacks up to Summerland.

Beautiful flowers and lush doesn't get much better than this...OK so it does...but only when the resident marmots pose for you atop rocks as if they were high paid supermodels of the natural world.

We got up to Summerland and decided to make camp in a clump of trees. There was already a group in the shelter. That's OK though because it's my experience that the shelters are usually infested with field mice. We made camp and then decided to do some roaming up towards Panhandle Gap. Lots of lounging around and photo taking. We headed back down towards camp and lingered in the meadows nearby watching the sunset and the sky light up with color.

In the morning....lots more delay while hiking out. In the stream at the edge of the meadows before the trail drops down the switchbacks were photographing the marsh marigolds and saying out loud "this would be the kind of place on the kind of day you'd see JimK out here" to which JimK replied "well hello there! We had no idea he'd actually be out there that day and the timing couldn't have been more perfect!

Jim was headed up higher that morning while we were heading out.

On Sunday the 19th we decided to do a shortish loop trip out of Sunrise. First hiking up to the Emmons Overlook and then continuing up towards Burroughs but taking a side trail north leading towards Frozen Lake and then traversing high along the south flank of Sourdough Mountains before returning to Sunrise and the car.

Great outing!
Summerland & Sunrise Slideshow

(click on map to view a larger version)

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Copyright Janet M. Putz
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