Tag Archives: Mystic Lake

Completely Alone Backpacking Mount Rainier’s Northern Loop

October 8, 2018  |  In Backpacking, National Park Adventures   |   Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , ,   |   12 Comments
A backpacker on Mount Rainier National Park's Northern Loop.

The view toward Rainier from Crescent Mountain along Mount Rainier National Park’s Northern Loop.

By Michael Lanza

“There’s absolutely no one out here.”

I was just a few hours into a solo backpacking trip around Mount Rainier National Park’s 32.8-mile Northern Loop when that realization hit me. It was a cool, clear day in October 2003. None of my usual hiking partners had been available to join me. So I decided to do the trip alone, something I’ve done more times than I could count and felt comfortable with. I had no idea that this time I’d face the kind of situation that solo hikers think about but can never anticipate: a threat that shrinks the margin of safety in the wilderness down to nothing. Continue reading →

The Big Outside Trip Planner: Backpacking Mount Rainier’s Northern Loop

October 27, 2017  |  In Backpacking, Family Adventures, National Park Adventures   |   Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , ,   |   Leave a comment
A backpacker on Mount Rainier National Park's Northern Loop.

A backpacker on Mount Rainier National Park’s Northern Loop.

 

Welcome to The Big Outside’s Trip Planner for backpacking the Northern Loop in Mount Rainier National Park.

This planner describes how to plan and execute a backpacking trip on Rainier’s 37.2-mile Northern Loop, the trip featured in my story “Completely Alone Backpacking Mount Rainier’s Northern Loop” at The Big Outside. That story includes photos from this trip. Continue reading →

October 19, 2017 Above the West Fork White River, Northern Loop, Mount Rainier National Park.

3-Minute Read: Completely Alone on Mount Rainier’s Northern Loop

In Backpacking, National Park Adventures   |   Tagged , , , , , , , , , ,   |   1 Comment

By Michael Lanza

“There’s absolutely no one out here.”

I was just a few hours into a solo backpacking trip around Mount Rainier National Park’s 32.8-mile Northern Loop when that realization hit me. It was a cool, clear day in October. None of my usual hiking partners had been available to join me. So I decided to do the trip alone, something I’ve done more times than I could count and felt comfortable with. I had no idea that this time I’d face the kind of situation that solo hikers think about but can never anticipate: a threat that shrinks the margin of safety in the wilderness down to nothing. Continue reading →

June 21, 2016 Hiking across Spray Park, below Mount Rainier.

Photo Gallery: Backpacking at Mount Rainier National Park

In Backpacking, Family Adventures, National Park Adventures   |   Tagged , , , , , , ,   |   1 Comment

By Michael Lanza

If you’re looking for a good introductory backpacking trip at Mount Rainier National Park, you could hardly do better than the three-day, 22-mile hike from Mowich Lake to Sunrise, much of it on the Wonderland Trail. Crossing the northern tier of the park, you’ll enjoy some of the best wildflower displays in the West in Spray Park and Berkeley Park, get a close-up look at the massive Carbon Glacier, and have your brain question the validity of the signals it’s receiving from your eyes when you look up at Rainier’s dramatic north face from spots like Mystic Lake. Continue reading →

July 21, 2015 My kids in Spray Park, Mount Rainier National Park.

Video: Backpacking Mount Rainier National Park

In Backpacking, Family Adventures, National Park Adventures   |   Tagged , , , , , , , ,   |   1 Comment

By Michael Lanza

Mount Rainier National Park presents a multitude of excellent backpacking options. But one that encapsulates the experience well, shows off some of the park’s highlight views, glaciers, and wildflower meadows, and can be knocked off in a weekend is the traverse from Mowich Lake to Sunrise. Hiking below Rainier’s north face makes it look so impossibly big it seems unreal, rising 8,000 to 11,000 vertical feet above hikers on trails. Few North American peaks have visible relief of two vertical miles. You naturally react as you might to a full-blown, heat stroke-induced hallucination: Compelled to believe your eyes, you nonetheless struggle with the nagging intuition that the delicate fruit that is your frontal lobe has spoiled badly in the heat. Continue reading →

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