On day three, we drove further into the park for our second hike. We’d stopped the first day to take some photos of Christine Falls and spied the trail just down the road with stairs cut into the hill trail which cut right over the top of the falls on a wooden bridge you can see from the road. It was a no brainer that we had to hike that!
Did you know that bridge was built in 1928? I was pretty impressed that it has held up perfectly, especially after we learned so much about the violent nature of the volcano, floods and harsh weather on the mountain, and the huge number of cars that drive up and down this road every day.
The falls were roaring nicely with the spring melt, but not too crazy. Just enough to give us a teaser feel of the icy cold spray as we drove by.
Icy cold spray that reminded us that the water was just melted fresh off the still-lingering snow. We knew we would see a little bit on the trail, and were ready with our water proof hiking boots. Those boots have seen some miles, hiking around the stormy Scottish highlands during my first trip there, strolling on the rocky beach on my second and third trips, walking all over Denver and the surrounding area, and over many a trail and dirt road in the Brazilian forest.
I love my boots, they’ve taken me some really great places.
Now it was time for them to schlep me up the Christine Falls trail on Mt. Rainier.
And through the snow.
Yes, there was still snow on the trail in late May. We expected to see a little bit, but we were surprised to see so much of it already at the bottom of the trail. Hmm…
It was a nice, warm and sunny day though, so we kept on trekkin’.
And even though it was right off the road, we felt more and more calm and peaceful with every step. It’s so dang beautiful here!
Seriously. We couldn’t help but just stop every once in a while to stare at it.
After four years of Brazilian Atlantic forest, the Pacific Northwest felt like an alien planet.
I was also completely impressed with the condition of the trails.
There were so well maintained. The bridges were sturdy, the fallen trees and logs were cleared off the path, steps were cut into the steep slopes and all of it was well marked. It kind of felt like Hiking for Dummies, but we appreciated it anyway.
Early in the trail you cross the bridge across the falls, and then continue on into the forest.
Our plan was to hike about two miles in on what seemed to be an only moderately steep trail, then hike back down.
We got about three quarters of a mile in and found this:
Hmm… I think I see the trail, is this it?
We made it about another 100 meters across the snow and it turned into this:
Brian decided to venture across the snow just a little bit more, and fell through up to his thighs.
Time to turn around and go back down.
Hot tub here we come!
On the map: Click here to see this location on our Google Map.