Rainier is known for its spectacular wildflower displays, and this trail puts on one of the best shows in the park. The 8.2-mile hike begins at Mowich Lake, passes a half-mile side trip to Spray Falls, and climbs to broad meadows carpeted with pink heather, lilies, and Indian paintbrush. Turn around at mile four on a rocky, 6,400-foot spine with big-screen views of Mount Rainier seven miles to the southeast.
INFO For information on permits, current trail and camp conditions, and wilderness guidelines, go to nps.gov/mora/planyourvisit/wilderness-camping-and-hiking.htm.
PERMIT A wilderness permit is required for all overnight camping in the backcountry. Reservations requests accepted by fax or mail, starting on March 15th of each year ($20/reservation). Download form at nps.gov/mora/planyourvisit/wilderness-reservation-information.htm.
CONTACT Mt. Rainier National Park, (360) 569-2211; nps.gov/mora
-Mapped by Alan Bauer, Alan Bauer Photography