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Crystal Lakes,  Mt Rainier National Park,  July 23, 2011     page 1 / 19

Late spring snow led to longer winter conditions in the high country and a later start to our hiking season. A friend who had visited the area a week earlier inidcated this hike to be in good condition, however.

The Crystal Lakes trailhead is along highway 410, not far from the park entrance to Sunrise. We arrived about 10am to find much of the parking area full, an indication of its weekend popularity. The elevation at the trailhead is about 3550 feet. The trail is very well graded, climbing steadily to Lower Crystal Lake at 5500 feet. A handful of campsites are available for those wishing to stay overnight.

Lower Crystal Lake was pleasant, though a bit buggy