Let’s hike the Paul Peak trail to the South Mowich River camp and crossing. Afterwards, we can stop at the 410 Café in Buckley for dinner. I will need at least 3 people willing to drive.
Excerpt from “Day Hiking Mount Rainier,” by Dan A Nelson
Although this trail is within Mount Rainier National Park, limited views of the big mountain are found on this route. In fact, there are few sweeping panoramic views. Fortunately, the forest is a wonderful example of mixed old-growth, with cedar, Douglas fir, hemlock, and a few bigleaf-maples tossed in for good measure. Camp-robber jays, ptarmigans, grouse, hares, red foxes, coyotes, and cougars patrol the area. Best of all, this trail--one of the easiest to reach in the northwest corner of the park--is one of the most lightly used. As a result, hikers can frequently find peaceful solitude on this often-overlooked trail. Walk quietly, and you might encounter some of the beings that do share the trail with you: small birds and other beasts of the forest.
Round Trip: 7.8 miles.
Elevation Gain: 840 feet in; 1,880 feet out.
High Point: 4,240 feet.
Hiking Time: 6 hours.
GPS: N 46 56.097, W 121 54.409.
Special Features: Old growth, summits, wildlife.
Maps: Green Trails Mount Rainier West, No. 269.
What to Bring: Day pack with the 10 Essentials, appropriate hiking attire (no blue jeans, cotton clothing, or sneakers), plenty of water, lunch/energy snacks, sturdy/comfortable shoes + a bag for wet/soiled pairs, trekking poles (optional), sun preventatives, bug repellent, and your camera! Dress according to the forecast (layers!).
Contact: Carbon River Ranger Station, [masked].
Permits/Regulations: $15 per vehicle for a 7-day entrance permit or $30 per vehicle for an annual pass. Group size limited to twelve. Fires prohibited. Dogs prohibited.
Getting there: From Puyallup, drive 13 miles east on State Route 410 to Buckley. Turn right (south) onto Mundy Loss Road. Drive 1.2 miles, then turn right on State Route 165 and proceed through Carbonado. Just beyond the Carbon River Gorge Bridge, bear right onto Mowich Lake Road. Follow the road about 11 miles to the park boundary. Just 0.5 miles inside the signed boundary, find the trailhead on the right.
Useful Links: 7-Day Weather Forecast
Hiking Guide Description and Trip Reports
Robert's Cell: [masked]
Disclaimer: Trailside is not a professional guide service. Our leaders function, as facilitators only, to enhance your outdoor experience. Reports of trail and weather conditions are based on best available information, are subject to change, and are no guarantee of fitness for any particular purpose or appropriate for a certain fitness level. You may join us on this hike at your own risk. Keep in mind that hiking involves risks and weather changes quickly in the mountains. You are responsible for your own safety and the more prepared you are, the better the chance you will remain safe.