Grand Park, Mt Rainier National Park, October 21, 2005 page 1 / 12
Last week I began a two-week stretch serving jury duty. Friday, I was not required to appear at the courthouse, and the weather forecast was for clear skies. It was time to head to the hills!
Libby pointed out a short article in our paper describing a route into Grand Park, in the Mt. Rainier National Park. This was an area I always wanted to visit. I thought it would require a very long day hike from Sunrise Lodge to see, but I was mistaken. The article described a route which approached from the north, via forest service road 73 off of highway 410. The trail began where road 73 crosses Eleanor Creek at elevation 4520'.
The trail immediately enters the national park and meanders through second growth forest. It climbs roughly 500 feet over 0.8 miles before reaching Lake Eleanor at 5000 feet. The lake is peacefully nestled among the trees. There are a few good campsites. As far as I could tell, there were no views of the mountain from the lake.
Another gentleman I met at the parking lot followed me up the trail a few minutes behind. After taking a few pictures of the still water, I headed up the hill, glancing back to see him just arriving.