|Elevation gain:||3400 feet|
|Approximate driving time from Seattle:||2.5 hours|
|Traffic on the trail:||moderate|
|Highlights:||Huge views of Mt. Rainier if it's clear. Views including Mt. Adams and Mt. Hood if it's really clear. Two campsites on top.|
|Challenges:||Lots of climbing, but the trail is quite smooth and the climbing is steady.|
|Maps:||Green Trails #270, Mount Rainier East|
October 18, 2008
- Participants: Tom, Ben
Tom and Ben departed Seattle about 8:00 AM to conquer Shriner Peak. We were unsure whether to expect snow at higher elevations, but encountered none. Unfortunately the weather was not as spectacular as it had been the last weekend on Mt. Forgotten, and the lack of camera turned out not to be that unfortunate. The entire climb was shrouded in fog, with the occasional glimpse of blue against the mountainside above. The trail starts in the forest climbing up the side of a valley. At about 1.5 or 2 miles, a large switchback turns it around and the forest begins to thin. Another major switchback signals the start of the climb out of the trees into rocky meadows where, on a clear day, there would be great views (and intense sun, as it is on the southern slopes of the mountain).
At the lookout, we arrived just as the sun disappeared about 12:30 PM. Seeking some return for all our hard work, we hung around until about 3:30. The clouds began to break slightly around 2:45, but kept closing back up. Only twenty minutes before we left did we get some partial views north and west to Cayuse Pass and Naches Peak area, with the very top of Mount Rainier appearing to the west for a couple minutes above the clouds. Make sure you choose a clear day for this, but even then you may not be treated to The View. As we drove north and then west on SR 410, it became clear that the rest of the area had had a beautiful clear day, but we were stuck in the cloud trail coming off the Mountain. This one is definitely on the repeat list.