Shriner Peak LO (Sep 27, 2014)

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shriner_pk_lo_coverConditions: day hike
Gear: nothing special
Map: USGS Chinook Pass
Area: Sunrise, Mount Rainier NP
Reference: Day Hiking Mount Rainier
Stats: 8.8mi, 3431' gain (round trip)

Nice trip. Not as nice (view wise) as the trip up Banshee Pk a couple of weeks ago but 1) I hiked up a new trail, 2) tagged a new lookout, and 3) did something other than sit on my butt all day if I'd stayed at home...

So I like early starts...what's new. I was up about 5:15am and out of the house by 6:00am. It's a long drive down to the Cayuse Pass area of Mt Rainier. I was parked (wide pull-off on the west side of 123) and hiking by about 8:45am. Not bad. I was the first car in the "lot" (2456'). The day started out quiet. Squirrels berating me for making noise, the occasional chirp of an early bird bird, and the sound of wet brush. It was pretty clear it had poured here yesterday and overnight. The trail looked pounded by rain drops. Where brush was heavy with water and leaning into the trail...that water eventually got my pants soaked. Thankfully the temps were expected to warm up.

The trailhead is on the east side of the road so I had to start out first by walking along the shoulder. Fine in the morning. After checking out the trailhead sign and discovering that I wasn't being a perfectly "safe" hiker (rule #1...don't hike alone) I headed up the trail. Dark forest. Big trees. Some wet brush. At about .9mi (2992') the trail rounds the SW shoulder of Shriner and then continues uphill at a pretty constant clip to the first switchback at 1.9mi (3788'). It's about the time I reached these switchbacks that the trail finally comes out of the trees some. Lots of fall color going strong up and down the hillside. At about 2.8mi (4523') the tail finally gets back onto that SW shoulder (higher up though) and I got my first views of "The Mountain" since before I was out of the car (driving over Cayuse Pass).

At about 3.8mi (5270') I found what looked like a boot patch heading off to my right (likely heading over to Shriner Lake).

A bit more uphill, a few more switchbacks, and I was finally at the top. No views of the lookout until you are practically there (4.55mi, 5817', 11:17am). One hiker, Paul from Issaquah, arrived right before I did, we peered into the building (it's locked). There is a new roof (nice) but the paint on the building is badly peeling and the entire structure could sure use a new paint job. The looout is a 2-story frame cab and was built in 1932. It was staffed into the 80's. It is listed on the National Historic Lookout Register.

We dropped our packs enjoying the quiet before the storm (more hikers) and had a nice lunch. I wanted to take lots of time at the summit but one by one more hikers arrived. I had the place nearly to myself for about a half hours, then a group of 3 arrived, loudly chatting...time to leave. The noise really killed the quiet and relaxing lunch we were having.

I pretty much made a bee-line down. I left the lookout about noon and was back down to the car about 2:00pm. Not bad...

More information on the lookout: This lookout is a 2-story frame cab which was built in 1932 and was staffed into the 1980's. It is listed on the National Historic Lookout Register.
Shriner Peak LO Slideshow


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Copyright Janet M. Putz
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