The Other Side of the Mountain- Sunrise and Silver Falls at Mt Rainier

It was only two weeks ago that I took you to Paradise on the south side of Mt. Rainier National Park – here – if you missed it.

But that didn’t stop us from returning again, this time to Sunrise, on the east side of the mountain.

From the National Park Service website

On the way up we stopped by Sunrise Point for a full panoramic view of the Cascade Mountains, including Mt. Adams, Rainier’s smaller lookalike in the distance. (Click on the pictures in the gallery to enlarge.)

We arrived at the Visitor Center, at 6,400 ft. the highest point you can drive to in the park, and found snow still covered most of the trails.

Even so, we found some picnic tables and shared a snack with the chipmunks; they brought their own food.

Where snow had melted in the meadows, wildflowers were blooming, including the delicate but hardy glacier lilies.

After our snack Bob asked if I was still up for a hike; there was one he’d always wanted to take to Silver Falls. Yes, indeed! We drove the 25 minutes down to the trailhead and entered the solitude of old growth forest.

It wasn’t long until we heard the thunderous waters of the Ohanapecosh River as it rushed toward Silver Falls. We stopped at the Overlook and felt the power of the river and the spray from the falls on our faces.

You can see its massive scale below where hikers ventured out onto the boulders, despite the warning sign and danger. (Please don’t try this at home!)

We crossed the bridge over the river and enjoyed wonderful views in all directions. We’d actually taken a hike to the falls once before, from the campground on the other side. Today’s hike was just as beautiful and much easier at only a mile round trip.

It was the highlight of the day.

And then it was time to head back down for dinner, but not without stopping for a final look at the mountain.

Goodbye till next time.

~ Susanne

30 Comments on “The Other Side of the Mountain- Sunrise and Silver Falls at Mt Rainier

  1. If you love photo ops for Mt. Rainier, consider taking the Crystal Mountain Ski Area summer gondola to the top of the mountain. You will love that view!

    • Yes, we’ve taken the gondola at Crystal Mountain, but it was before my blogging days. It was a little scary, but I would like to do it again sometime. The views were wonderful and there was a cute little restaurant up there, too!

  2. Love the fact that snow is still on the mountains. Those chipmunks are adorable. Spectacular views as the water does its thing. Looks like it was a perfect day.

  3. This was the side of the mountain we just couldn’t find the time to include on our itinerary. Such a shame, as it looks amazing! The Ohanapecosh River and those falls – both stunning 😮 I’m glad you included the video of the falls in particular as it really showed their power. Oh, and cute chipmunks too!

    • I’m glad you enjoyed the pictures and videos! There’s so much to see at Mt Rainier there’s no way to fit it all in on a single trip. I’m glad we’re close and can visit as much as we want!

      There’s another hike across from the one we took to Silver Falls, called the Grove of the Patriarchs. It’s fabulous and has some of the oldest and largest trees in the park. We’ve taken it before but the suspension bridge was damaged so it isn’t open right now.

      • Ah, we were near the Grove of the Patriarchs and thought about doing it but we skipped it in the end as the weather was poor that day and we’d recently been in the Hoh Rainforest so had seen some pretty impressive trees there. We did a short walk at Box Canyon and another at Hot Springs just before leaving the park.

      • The trail we took to Silver Falls was literally across from the Grove of the Patriarchs trailhead. The suspension bridge crosses the Ohanapecosh on that hike to the giant trees. So you weren’t that far away from Sunrise, maybe 30 minutes around and up!

  4. I love your page! Beautiful photos! This is one of my favorite hikes! Silver Falls is so incredible. Thank you so much for sharing your beautiful photos!

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