Monday, September 23, 2013

Wonderland Trail 2.1 Back to Indian Bar

I woke up early, excited for my last day on the trail and a chance to actually see the landscape. My plan was to head up past Summerland to Indian Bar and back. About 20 miles, and then hop in my car and start the drive home. 

sunrise creeping up on me
The trail climbed up the canyon and this time I could actually see the ridges! Cascading water and lots of green, such a nice way to start the morning.

Last time I had been unable to see even one sliver of this mountain, what a treat

The view got even better during the last few switchbacks to Sunrise 

The view from sunrise, the trail heads up to the left

I kept having to turn around just to stare at Rainier

I almost liked it all more in the mist, it felt a little more dramatic and special up there when the blue peeked through and then disappeared so quickly. But its pretty darn spectacular in full sunlight. Even saw some white dots that some hikers with binoculars assured me were mountain goats.

I may have liked the previous section a bit more in the mist but the minute I crested the ridge and saw what spread out before me I was giddy with all the sun and mountains. I simply had no clue. 

Heading down to Indian Bar, this is one of the view points that had been 100% obscured my first visit

I love that little shelter, it sure came at a good time on my trip

looking down from the long trek up to the bathroom 

One last look as I left the valley behind and climbed back towards Summerland

and yes, this is slightly different b/c my legs were more tired and the angle of the sun had changed....

The views were amazing but I was getting tired heading down that mountain. A long day of sun and a week without a break had me looking forward to possibly a motel room not just the back of my car and nice long shower. Maybe two or three miles from the finish I realized I had dropped my sunglasses. I think most people would have just left them, I mean I've had those sunglasses for almost 2 years and all I knew was that I had dropped them somewhere past a bridge maybe 2 miles back. But being tired and not thinking that clearly I very stubbornly turned around and headed back up the mountain. I passed at least 8 people on their way down, none of whom had seen the glasses. I walked for 30 minutes, feeling defeated and beat down I turned around and crossing a creek two minutes later I saw them. Yay for success, boo for an extra 2 miles because I can't keep track of my belongings. I was more than ready for a night off when I got to my car. Snacking the whole way I hit the road with dreams of motel rooms and showers.

stuck in roadwork I got a few more great glimpses before I was out of the park
Being cheap and indecisive does not make finding a place to stay easy. Add to that unfamiliarity with local highways and an interstate in Oregon that closes from 8pm-6am means you get one tired cranky hiker sleeping in a car in a parking lot. Oh well at least what I saw of the drive was pretty. Wonderland trail you were pretty amazing, and Mt Rainier I will definitely be back but unfortunately for me its back to work and the real world for now.


  1. Awesome trip report Focus! I really want to do this loop so your timing of this report is great! I did the Mt Hood loop last year and the Mt St Helens loop this year. Both were awesome! I'm the guy who met you at Odell last year on the PCT as I was vacationing there and had come in on my boat to Shelter Cove. Great blog! -GoalTech from Portland. PS I section hiked McKenzie Pass to Odell this year. Awesome!

    1. Wow can't believe your still reading my nonsense! You really should get out to Rainier, it was spectacular. How did you like Hood? Lately I'm pretty in love with these NW volcanoes and can't wait to get back.