Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Mt Rainier at Sunrise - White River Campground

If we can call anything as perfect camping, it was our camping at White River Campground, right at the foothills of Mt. Rainier. The perfect site, perfect timing for everything, and perfect relaxation.

We knew that the camp is first-cum-first basis, so we left early in the morning and beat the traffic on the freeway and reached the camp at 8:00 am. At the entrance we found the CAMP FULL board. Soon our friends also joined us. Considering that there is no network available, we had decided to meet at the entrance. It was after 30 minutes that we observed that few people were vacating their sites. So we kept looping in Loop D, right next to White River and successfully found a good site.

We had read that there were lot of bugs, so we carried our bug repellant. We reached there but did not really feel the need of using the repellant though there were some bugs around.

There were flush toilets there, pretty clean. Of course at night you need to carry your flashlight or lantern to the restrooms. Tap water was very cold in the morning but few minutes under that water and you will not feel that cold!


Ranger program
This was interesting part of the campground.
They have ranger program for kids to help them understand the wilderness. In the evening they had a one hour presentation about the geology of the Cascades by a geologist.

Hike to Frozen Lake
We had our breakfast and then left for Sunrise point, hiked on Frozen Lake trail and returned by the Wonderland Trail. It was an amazing 2.4 miles hike, took us 2.5 hours. We returned to our camp and had lunch. Since we knew that we will be spending time on the hike, we had prepared food from home so we just warmed it  up and ate.

Some of the hike trail photos to Frozen Lake.

Mt. Rainier visible from everywhere on the trail

Beautiful valleys everywhere

Dusty trail, supposedly the most steep part

Mt. Rainier, we are getting close and below Wonderland Trail

Shadow Lake from above

Trail gets rocky and there at a distance is Frozen Lake

Mt. Rainier, sky and above, if that is not heaven!

Frozen Lake

After a short siesta, we went on the Wonderland trail and took some photos at the White River. The river had strong currents and Mt. Rainier treated us with fantastic view.

White River

Bridge on the wonderland Trail

Mt. Rainier right before the sun was moving behind the hill

Sun-rays from behind the hill in the evening

Majestic at all times!

We tried firing up the coal without the lighter fuel with the help of just papers acting as wick and were glad that it worked. So our grilled food had a great flavour from just the coal and no lighter fuel smell. The camp fire was also fun and enjoyed it till nearly midnight. We even enjoyed the Supermoon and caught a meteor or a shooting star too!

Mt. Rainier at Sunrise
Next day morning woke up early to catch Mt. Rainier in its best colour! :) We were in no mood to travel again to Sunrise Point so stationed ourselves with our tripod in the middle of the white river next to our camp.
Well, even the photos do not do justice to what we witnessed that morning! It was breathtaking and we were awestruck!

Gradually changing from white

Slight hue of orange

Orange peak of Mt. Rainier

View from White river adjacent to the camp

It lasted like this for some 15 minutes before fading away to snow white again

This view of Mt. Rainier just completed our camping holistically! Nature at its best, we feel lucky to have witnessed this phenomena and hope to come back here again and explore the other trails which must be equally breathtaking!

This trip was a perfect blend of hiking and camping!! Wish to come back soon! :)