Friday, June 20, 2014

Chenuis Falls

I had been wanting to do this hike for a long time, just so I could start to explore the Carbon River Road at Mt. Rainier. This road has been closed since the floods of 2006 washed it out and was turned into a bike to hike road, one of two in Mt. Rainier National Park that allow bikes. I didn't want to bike it (I do have plans to bike to the end and stay overnight at Ipsut Creek Campground), but it just wasn't in the plans for last Sunday.

Mark and I parked at the entrance then walked down the road. While the road is not particularly exciting, it was very peaceful and gorgeous seeing the sun streaming through the moss covered trees. The road walk went by much faster than I anticipated, and before I knew it, we were at the former trail head for the falls.

Now, this trail is only accessible once they put the foot bridges in across the river, which usually are in May. The rest of the time, the river is too cold and high to ford. The foot bridges felt really sturdy and I had no problem walking across.

The falls themselves are only 0.2 miles from the former trail head so we were there in no time! And they were beautiful! We had lunch at the base of the falls. I just loved gazing out at that blue-green water. It was so relaxing and wonderful. After lunch we slowly ambled back across the river, taking lots of photos and just soaking up the sun.

On the way back, we took a side trail up to an old copper mine that Crystal and I had worked on with the WTA a year ago. It looked a lot different and this time I explored a little further into the mine. It was creepy!

If you want to check out the mine, walk about 1 mile up the Carbon River Road past the barricade and the trail is on your right. It's level for the part, but then it goes up! Be prepared for a steep incline.

I now really want to go and explore more of the Carbon River area of Mt. Rainier. It is so beautiful up there!

Have you explored the Carbon River area at all?

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