Saturday, August 20, 2011

Berkley Park - Mt. Rainer National Park

In our continued quest to find fields of wildflowers we headed back to Mt. Rainier to Berkley Park.  It was recommended by a couple of park rangers as the best wildflower viewing in the park at this time. The trail to Berkley Park begins at the Sunrise Visitor Center. The trail itself heads North uphill towards Sour Dough Mountains. The trail almost immediately splits going either to the East (Dege Peak) or to the West towards Berkley Park. The trail proceeds along a relatively mild grade until you gain the ridge. There are beautiful views of Mt. Rainier as well as occasional views to the North, of Glacier Peak and Mt. Stewart in the distance.  Each of the pictures below was taken today on our hike.


One of many pictures of Broad Leaf Lupine

Kent walking through the heart of Berkeley Park

Field of mixed wildflowers

Loved this fallen branch among the wildflowers

Scarlet Paintbrush

Close up of Scarlet Paintbrush

Mixed grouping of wildflowers

More Lupine

Beautiful carpet of wildflowers in Berkeley Park

Spreading Phlox

I just cant resist sharing even more
Once you arrive at Frozen lake (the water source for Sunrise) you are given the choice of heading towards either Burroughs Mountain (to the South and uphill), Fremont Fire Lookout (to the North uphill), and West towards Berkley Park and Mystic Lake.  From here the trail gradually descends into Berkley Park.

Frozen Lake
Berkley Park proper was amazing - we were surrounded by lush vibrant wild flowers - unlike anything I have experienced. The blues, oranges, yellows, reds and white flowers were beautiful.

As you descend against the Northern Wall you will be joined by a Affi Creek. The lushness only increases as you move down through the Park towards Berkley Creek Camp. Keeping you company along the descent is Skyscraper Mountain to the West and Fremont Fire Lookout ridge to the East.

Hiker in the distance as we neared the end of the trail

The hike itself ended up being just shy of eight miles.  Nice way to spend a beautiful day in the Northwest.  Today was actually our hottest day of the year and only our seventh day of the year above 80 degrees!  And we only had to wait until late August!  I hope you enjoy the pictures!

Later - Jim 

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