This was a mid-September trip to visit some of the lakes on the north side of Mt. Rainier National Park, using the Sunrise area as a trailhead. There are no views of Mt. Rainier from the camps next to the lakes, but plenty of views during the hike. Nonetheless, with smoke from wildfires, especially on the second day, this was a good time to do a trip that didn't feature views as much as other trips.
Day 1 after driving to the park and getting my permit, was a 9 mile day, starting at 1:15.
Just out of sunrise, I had a great view
After a few miles on Sourdough Ridge, the trail starts dropping down
Into the upper part of Berkeley Park
I was greeted by a couple of the locals
A few unruly western pasque flowers
Berkeley Park is still green this time of year
A few miles later I arrived at the massive meadows of Grand Park
Mt. Rainier dominates over Grand Park, but with the sun directly above, I needed to check this again the next day when returning earlier in the day
I got to Lake Eleanor a few miles later, my spot for the night
A bit smokier the next morning
Fall colors arriving
Rainier was indeed dominating, despite the smoky haze
A broader view
To the left, the Fremont Peak Lookout was barely visible
After passing through Berkeley Park again, I climb up into the alpine
The hike then follows Sourdough Ridge for it's full length. This normally has fantastic views of Rainier, but smoke combined with clouds from an approaching storm, and the sun just above it, made photos pointless. But there are some nice basins to the north along Huckleberry Creek.
Finally I got to Sunrise Point, a road viewpoint, and turn left onto the Palisades Lakes trail. There are many lakes along here, this is Clover Lake, one of the nicer ones.
After 15 long miles, Upper Palisade Lake and some of the peaks nearby. Camp was in the trees on the left.
On the way out the next day, a better view of The Palisades
A nice meadow along the trail
Another alpine basin on the east end of the Sourdough Trail begging for a visit some day - note the trail
The road to Sunrise, just out of view to the right