2017 Western Spring Fling travel blog

Posing at the entrance to Mount Rainier NP

On the way to the Grove of the Patriarchs

Three of the Patriarchs

Ohanapecosh River is crystal clear

Ohanapecosh River

More views of the river

Trillium are blooming

Trail from the Grove of the Patriarchs

There was moss everywhere

Moss covered river birch

Some large liverworts growing on trees

Cataract going under the bridge

Ohanapecosh River at the confluence with the Cowlitz River

Pano of the River downstream from the cataract

Western skunk cabbage blooming


We made an attempt to see Mount Rainier today but were blocked by snow closed roads. We drove to the southeast entrance of the National Park and you could only drive about 5 miles into the park. We we were able to visit the Grove of the Patriarchs, a stand of old growth trees, some which are over 1,000 years old. To get there you make a short (1 mile) hike and cross a one person suspension bridge onto an island in the Ohanapecosh River. The trees include douglas firs, western hemlocks, and western red cedars some of which are 25 ft. in diameter at the base.

The Ohanapecosh River full with spring snow melt and is clearer than any mountain river I've ever seen. I went to get some pictures of a short falls under a bridge on the entrance road. I climbed down off the road and got to a rock ledge along the cataract. There was a sign that said "Caution rocks are slippery and water is cold and swift". I carefully stepped onto the rocks and probably slipped on my ass. Fortunately my camera wasn't damaged even though it and the tripod fell into a crack between the rocks. As I went down I could feel my right leg get fold under my body and thought that my knee was going to get wrecked, but the rock surface was slippery enough that it slid out before I hit the ground. The only thing that really hurts is my lower back/right hip. Right now it only hurts when I move in certain directions. I'll have to wait until the morning to see how I really feel.

Stevens Canyon Road past the Grove of the Patriarchs leads through the southern part of the park to the southwestern entrance is closed until at least Memorial Day. If we're going to be able to see any more of the park, including Mount Rainier, we'll have to move over to the Nisqually Entrance where the road into the park is open for about 15 miles. Stay tuned.

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