McClure Rock (Sep 16, 2017)

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paradise_coverConditions: day hike
Gear: nothing special
Map: USGS Mount Rainier, East
Area: Paradise, MRNP
Reference: n/a
Stats: 7.32mi, 2156' gain (round trip)

Steve was do a Mtneers trip up to Camp Muir today. I decided to drive down to MRNP with him but do a separate trip. We arrived to a nearly full lot but managed to find a spot. We parked and met up with Steve's scrambling group. We headed up the paved trail that leads out of the Paradise parking lot. I had a full day to take my time with my loop so I didn't bother trying to keep up with a group on a mission.

I bypassed Alta Vista and headed for Glacier Vista. There was lots of smoke in the air, thick enough to taste, but thankfully not enough to fully obscure the views. At Glacier Vista I had some good views down to the Nisqually Glacier. It's pretty scary how much it has receded. I then continued up to Panorama Point and along the way making note of the trail junction at Pebble Creek (where the "trail" heads up to Camp Muir). I knew my day would be crowded with people. Still, I was a bit stunned by the crowds up at Panorama Point. There were people everywhere. I decided to seek some solitude and headed off towards McClure Rock. I found the quiet I was looking for and had the place to myself of a relaxing lunch.

After lunch, I headed back to Panorama Point and continued clockwise on a loop that took me on the Skyline Trail (I think I saw the trail signs mark it the High Skyline Trail). I hiked past Golden Gate and then down to Stevens Van Trump Historical Monument where I watched a very large marmot summit the monument. I decided at first to head down Mazama Ridge. I hiked a short way but then checked my watch...I had been dawdling all day...I didn't want to be too late getting back to my car because I drove. Steve could be coming down from Muir as early as 4pm. I didn't think I had enough time to hike Mazama Ridge down to Reflection Lakes and then head back up to decided to backtrack a bit to the last junction and head more directly back to Paradise by Staying on the Skyline Trail.

I've never done these trails when they are snow free...there has always been snow and I've had snowshoes. It was interesting to see contrast. I got back to my car and about 30 minutes later the Mtneers group started to return.
McClure Rock Slideshow

(click on map to view a larger version)

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Copyright Janet M. Putz
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