Monday, September 14, 2009

What do you call a trail with a view of Mount Rainier?

Rainier View I suppose? Well this "original" name is indeed the official trail name of the trail leading S/SW from high up at Corral Pass. I headed up the crazily steep and rough FR 7174 the six miles to Corral Pass as I have always wanted to get up close to Castle Mountain, what is beyond the "Rainier View" part of this trail where everyone who might hike here mainly goes. A beautiful Sunday and only 2-3 other small groups were seen while the parking area just 0.1 mile back down the road for Noble Knob? Packed! That makes sense as that area is also popular with the mountain bike groups. Why not on this glorious smooth easy trail? Well, that's because you enter the Norse Peak Wilderness in just 1/4 mile from the trailhead. This area also offers a great one-way hike opportunity to hike down the Greenwater Trail to Hidden Lake, Echo Lake, and out past the Greenwater Lakes area. Today however I enjoyed going about 1.2 miles beyond the viewing area people lunch at and got up on Castle Mountain as far as I was comfortable to scramble. Well now, the "view" from here was 250% more spectacular than down lower even! I particularly enjoyed the view east at Ravens Roost and that area of the Little Naches River region. You could see the Stuart Range and the other Central Cascades like Mount Daniel just fine as well.

Boy, it looked like a looonnnggg ways down to the White River below me :) A great new hike for the next editions of the Day Hiking books coming eventually!


  1. We found this hike this summer and really enjoyed it, although the hike was a bit more strenuous than I was prepared for bring 5 months pregnant the view was totally worth it!

  2. Wow, and the drive up to Corral Pass didn't do you in being pregnant!!? :) Just kidding!

    Thanks for the note Elisabeth - it really is a great hike to get in and one that once you have that baby, you should share that view with him/her early on since it is rather accessible with kids!

    Hope to hear more from you again soon - Alan