Mt Rainier National Park, North Side
7.25 miles, roundtrip
(This is from what we recorded on a Garmin Fenix 6x)
Gain: 1978 ft.
Highest Point: 5974 ft.
There is one location in the state where you are almost guaranteed to see a bear every time you hike, and that is Spray Park.
As you ascend into the blueberry-rich fields that overlook Mt Rainier, often there is a momma bear with cubs gorging themselves on berries. These are wild animals, so maintain a safe distance if you see them.
Getting to the trailhead can take some time as you have a very long (and sometimes rough) gravel road to drive down. You'll be making your way towards Mowich Lake, which is a central location for a few different hiking options.
At the lake, the trail begins just to the left of the bathrooms. You'll walk along the Wonderland Trail for a little over a quarter mile before you reach a split, which you want to stay left of.
There are a couple small water crossings along the way with bridges over them, so if you need to refill water, there are plenty of locations to do so.
After 2 miles you'll reach a junction, where the path to the right will take you to Spray Falls (which is worth seeing), and the path left takes you up some switchbacks that takes you to the blueberry meadows.
Making Your Way to the Top of Spray Park
After a few switchbacks, you'll start noticing more and more meadows as the trees start to thin out. If you look to the right, you'll see Mt Rainier poking its head out for you to see.
This area is a fun area to play in, you can make your own adventure and go as far as you want, as long as you respect the established trails and don't trample the delicate heather.
There are plenty of rocks you can stop of to have lunch and enjoy the views. When you are all done, make sure to keep an eye out for bears as you make your way back down the trail to the parking lot.
Click on images below to see a bigger picture
Gear We Use
Practicing LNT Principles, and Giving Back
We really want to encourage everyone to practice LNT principles when they explore these beautiful places. We spent years trying to minimize social impact on these locations, but the cat is out of the bag and these places are easy to find online. So it is our mission to share more about ways to keep these places as pristine as possible.
We also donate 3% of all our profits to organizations supporting the outdoors and working hard to keep these areas protected and safe.