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Wed Jun 18, 2014, 03:50 AM

A Pocket Rainforest in Rainier's shadow

Most residents of and tourists to the Pacific Northwest have heard of the Hoh Rainforest in Olympic National Park, but fewer know that Washington boasts a second temperate rainforest, this one just a ninety-minute drive from Seattle.

The Carbon River entrance to Mount Rainier National Park is found in the northwest corner of the park, far from the main tourist entrances on the south and east sides of the mountain. Until almost a decade ago, visitors could use the rough, unpaved Carbon River Road to drive as far as Ipsut Creek campground, from where they could access the Wonderland Trail around Rainier; they could also stop along the way to hike to places like Chenius Falls, Ranger Falls, and Green Lake. Sadly, heavy winter floods in 2006 damaged Carbon River Road, and it has never been rebuilt. The road now closes at the park entrance, making those destinations a much-longer hike away. But, at that entrance, you can find one of the treasures of Mount Rainier: the Carbon River Rainforest.

I will admit that before the 2006 floods, I used to drive by the rainforest, barely giving it a second glance. My mistake. I returned there recently, and found myself wishing I had done so long before.

The Rainforest Trail used to be a short loop through the forest; smaller than the Hall of Mosses and Spruce trails of the Hoh, it ran merely a half-mile, mainly on a nicely-constructed boardwalk, winding along and crossing June Creek. Nature has taken its toll here, too, and a bridge on the loop is now out (and looks unlikely to be rebuilt soon), turning the loop into a couple of even-shorter out-and-backs. No matter; what visitors to both rainforests will soon realize is that this is, for all purposes, a "mini-Hoh" -- much smaller, yes, but containing all the beauty of the larger, more-famous rainforest. It also struck me that there are, if anything, more nice photographic compositions readily available from the trail here. I know I'll be back...often.



































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Reply A Pocket Rainforest in Rainier's shadow (Original post)
regnaD kciN Jun 2014 OP
CrispyQ Jun 2014 #1
Mz Pip Jun 2014 #2
Solly Mack Jun 2014 #3
CaliforniaPeggy Jun 2014 #4
alfredo Jun 2014 #5
ohheckyeah Jun 2014 #6
lovemydog Jun 2014 #7

Response to regnaD kciN (Original post)

Wed Jun 18, 2014, 09:52 AM

1. Absolutely beautiful!



Glad you went back!

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Response to regnaD kciN (Original post)

Wed Jun 18, 2014, 11:12 AM

2. I can feel it

And smell the air. Beautiful place.

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Response to regnaD kciN (Original post)

Wed Jun 18, 2014, 11:43 AM

3. Wonderful! Thank you!

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Response to regnaD kciN (Original post)

Wed Jun 18, 2014, 12:11 PM

4. So very beautiful! Thank you for taking us along...I am dazzled...n/t

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Response to regnaD kciN (Original post)

Wed Jun 18, 2014, 09:21 PM

5. beautiful beautiful beautiful

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Response to regnaD kciN (Original post)

Thu Jun 19, 2014, 06:11 PM

6. Really nice job!

Lots of photos with a lot of trees in them just look messy to me. Yours don't - they are very beautiful.

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Response to regnaD kciN (Original post)

Sat Jun 21, 2014, 02:17 PM

7. Such vibrancy

in forests. Thank you for sharing!

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