Shriner Peak

August 20, 2012

The trail angles upward away from the road, cutting south along the lower flank of Shriner Peak before curving to the east at around 0.75 mile.

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You can see chipmunks along the trail. Usually I have a hard time differentiating between Townsend's chipmunk and Yellow Pine chipmunk. I believe the one on the next picture is a Townsend's chipmunk.

Townsen's chipmunk can be identified by its tail which is grayish above and reddish below. Townsend's Chipmunk is named after John Kirk Townsend, an early 19th century ornithologist.

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Townsend's chipmunk

You can also see Blue grouse. Often been treated as a single variable taxon, it contains two closely related species: The Dusky Grouse and the Sooty Grouse.

The Sooty Grouse is found in the Pacific Coast Ranges and Sierra Nevada, and the Dusky Grouse in the Rocky Mountains.

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Blue grouse

The trail angles upward away from the road, cutting south along the lower flank of Shriner Peak before curving to the east at around 0.75 mile. Another mile-long climbing traverse leads to a short series of switchbacks. By this point, you've left the forest and entered first an old burned area--the silver snags and young new trees provide no shade--then venture up into the world of wildflower meadows.

At 2.5 miles, the trail crests a ridge leading up the south face of the peak.

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Mount Rainier

You can also see Black bears. At Mount Rainier you can find at least 56 mammal species; 11 species of amphibians and five species of reptiles; more than 229 species of birds; 8 species of native fish; but invertebrates probably represent 85% of the animal biomass in the park.

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In 1792, Captain George Vancouver of the British Navy became the first European to sail into the Puget Sound. On the horizon, he noted a large, snowy mountain, known to local Native Americans as Tahoma, Takhoma, or Tacobet. Vancouver named it for his colleague Rear Admiral Peter Rainier.

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Wildflower Meadows

Much of this route is exposed, and since it faces south-southwest, it gets the full force of the solar heating. In other words, this hike can be a cooker during midsummer. Best bet is to start early, since the worst of the heating occurs in the afternoon.

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Afer the 2.5 mile you climb north into increasingly clear and spectacular views. Keep climbing on the dusty trail for the final 1.75 mile to the 5834-foot summit and its fantastic panoramas.

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At 4,392 m, Mt. Rainier is considered one of the most dangerous volcanoes in the world, and it is on the Decade Volcano list. Because of its large amount of glacial ice, Mt. Rainier could potentially produce massive lahars that would threaten the whole Puyallup River valley.

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Hiking Trip Statistics

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Region: Cascades Mountains
Difficulty: Moderate
Time: 5.5 hours
Distance: 14 km (roundtrip)
Elevation Gain: 1040 meters
Hiking Season: Late July - October
Camping: Yes (2)
Dog Friendly: Yes
Public Transit: No

Coordinates
1. 46.8037815392018-121.554764136672 Elev: 733 m Trailhead
2. 46.8136047944427-121.530501376838 Elev: 1770 m Shriner Peak

Download coordinates and route. Upload the data to your GPS using GPS Trackmaker

How to get there

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From Enumclaw, drive east about 47 miles on State Route 410 to the junction with SR 123 at Cayuse Pass. Stay right (straight ahead) to merge onto SR 123-Cayuse Pass Highway. Find the trailhead parking area on the right about 7.5 miles south of that junction. Park on the right (west) side of the highway and find the trailhead on the east side of the road.

Driving distance from Vancouver: 368 km (228 mi)
Driving time from Vancouver: Approx. 5 hours

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