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Silver Forest-Emmons Vista & Skyscraper Mountain Day Hike

  • Jul 19, 2014 · 7:30 AM
  • This location is shown only to members

Let's hike the Sunrise Rim and Wonderland Trail to the summit of Skyscraper Mountain.  We'll start at the Sunrise Rim Trail and hike the Silver Forest Trail, then follow the Sunrise Rim and Wonderland Trail past Shadow Lake, Sunrise Camp, and Frozen Lake.  Skyscraper Mountain, with an elevation of 7,078 feet, is #5 on the Mountaineers club list of list of Fifteen Hiking Peaks at Mount Rainier National Park.  You can log your ascents at Peakbagger.com.  We'll take the Sourdough Ridge Trail back to Sunrise.  On the way home, we may stop somewhere for ice cream or dinner.  I will need at least 3 people willing to drive.

Excerpt from "Day Hiking Mount Rainier," by Dan A. Nelson

Hike #27 – Skyscraper Mountain.  Never has sitting atop a Skyscraper been so enjoyable.  Though no official trail leads to the mountaintop, this rounded peak is easily scaled by just about anyone.  Indeed, summit seekers have beaten a boot track up the flank of the peak that rivals most established trails in the park.  And from the summit, you'll enjoy views that stretch from the ever-present Rainier to the south, to Mount Baker to the north.  Just don't expect complete solitude.  Even if no other human hikers scale the Skyscraper, you'll find the local residents are typical nosy neighbors who have to check out any visitor.  A small colony of marmots resides atop this peak, and I've yet to visit the top without having one of the big yellow-bellied beasts popping out to check on my lunch.  Enjoy visiting with the big beggars, but don't share your food: the marmots don't need your granola, and feeding them just encourages unneighborly behaviors on their part.

Hike #32 – Silver Forest-Emmons Vista. This route offers a perfect chance to see and experience a "silver forest" and to provide kids a learning experience as well.  These stands of bright white trees can be found throughout the Pacific Northwest, thanks to the ever-present threat of wildfire.  The silver forests are the standing skeletons of trees that were lashed by fast-moving, intensely hot forest fires.  When the fires are hot enough and moving fast enough, they kill the trees and scorch many of the limbs and bark off but don't devour the entire trunk.  As a result, entire forests are left standing, though they are dead and stripped of their "skin."  Within a couple of years, the standing trunks are bleached white by exposure to the sun and wind, resulting in a shadowy stand of gray ghosts: the silver forest.  When one of these shining woods is seen against a backdrop of emerald green meadows, brilliant blue skies, and a massive white mountain, the effect is amazing.  You'd never think a dead forest could look so beautiful and vibrant.  But that's just what you'll find here.

• Trailhead ETA: 9:45 am.            • Round Trip: 10.7 miles.

• Starting Elevation: 6,388 feet. • Ascent Elevation: 1,290 feet.

• High Point: 7,078 feet.                • Difficulty: Moderate/difficult.

• Pace: Slow/moderate.                • Hiking Time: 6.5 hours.

• Special Features: Established campsites, lakes, mountain views, ridges/passes, summits, wildflowers/meadows, wildlife.

• Maps: Green Trails Mount Rainier East, No. 270.

GPS Coordinates:

• Sunrise Rim Trailhead: N46°54'50.7" W121°38'30.6"

• Frozen Lake Junction: N46°55'03.3" W121°40'06.6"

• Skyscraper Mountain Summit: N46°55'37.4" W121°41'51.4"

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, sun preventatives, bug repellent, and your camera!  Dress according to the forecast (layers!).

Contact: White River Wilderness Information Center, (360) 569-6670.

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 Enumclaw, drive east 43 miles on State Route 410 to the Mount Rainier National Park White River Entrance.  Veer right onto the Sunrise Road and follow it 17 miles west to the large parking lot and visitor center at the road's end.  Note: Sunrise Road usually doesn't open until early July.

Useful Links:

7-Day Weather Forecast

Sunrise Area Trails

WTA Hiking Guide and Trip Reports – Skyscraper Mountain

WTA Hiking Guide and Trip Reports – Silver Forest-Emmons Vista

Robert's Cell: (253) 677-6992.

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.  Signing up for any Trailside organized event indicates that you have read, understand, and agree to the terms of this disclaimer and hold harmless all Trailside Organizers and Leaders in the event of injury or loss.

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  • A former member
    A former member

    I enjoyed meeting everyone. A great hike with added drama from high winds and incoming weather.

    July 21, 2014

  • Teresa

    Thank you Robert for hosting another spectacular hike! What a wonderful group to hike with!!

    July 20, 2014

  • Cynthia F.

    A special shout out and thanks to Meetra for accompanying me back to the car early.

    July 20, 2014

  • A former member
    A former member

    A plus Robert for the trails & timing with the weather! Great seeing everyone.

    July 19, 2014

  • A former member
    A former member

    I had an amazing time, especially for my first hike with this group! Looking forward to my next opportunity :)

    1 · July 19, 2014

  • Kamron R.

    So much fun! Thank you for everyone that came out for the hike!

    1 · July 19, 2014

  • A former member
    A former member

    We could all three meet at the Military Rd park & ride and head straight to the trailhead...?

    July 17, 2014

    • Jean

      Mark,

      1 · July 19, 2014

  • Lisa H.

    Robert, thanks for adding me but I just found out I have last minute tickets to the Sounders game tomorrow so I won't be on this hike after all. You all have fun and enjoy the mountain! I look forward to the next hike!

    July 18, 2014

  • A former member
    A former member

    Agreed. See you at 7:15

    July 18, 2014

  • A former member
    A former member

    Mark, Jean and I would like to meet at the Park & Ride at 27454 Pac. Hwy. Federal Way Wa 98003. The Military Road P & R involves backtracking for me. Robert, do we need to stop in Enumclaw at the Safeway to pick anyone up? I have room for one more. If not, we will meet at the trailhead at 9:30-9:45.

    July 18, 2014

    • Robert A

      No one has said they were meeting us in Enumclaw, so I assume everyone else will be at the SR 512 Park & Ride at 7:30 AM. Right now, there should be 5 people meeting us at the trailhead.

      July 18, 2014

  • A former member
    A former member

    Meeting time at Federal Way Pk. & Ride 7:15.

    July 18, 2014

  • Jean

    Mark, that works for me. Is that in kent? What's the address there and what time would you suggest meeting?

    July 17, 2014

    • A former member
      A former member

      272nd street

      July 18, 2014

  • Teresa

    I will meet you at the trailhead. I am spending the night, and doing another hike on Sun.. Do you have an ETA, as to when you will be at the trailhead?

    July 18, 2014

    • Robert A

      Trailhead ETA is 9:45 AM.

      July 18, 2014

  • A former member
    A former member

    Jean & Mary: Let's meet here:
    Kent-Des Moines P&R, 23405 Military Road South, Kent, WA 98032
    It looks like it's 2hrs from there to the trail head so let's meet at 7:20 AM tomorrow, leave by 7:30 and get to Sunrise by 9:30 or so. Agreed?

    July 18, 2014

  • A former member
    A former member

    Robert, all... I need to bail on Saturday. Sorry; unavoidable. Hope to see you all on a future hike soon.

    July 17, 2014

  • Jean

    Mark, thanks for the offer. If i can't meet up w Mary, I'll let u know. I live in SE Seattle (near Rainier Beach). Where would you want to meet?

    July 17, 2014

  • Jean

    Mary, are u still driving from Des Moines? Where and when would u like to meet? Thanks!

    July 17, 2014

  • Jean

    Anyone driving from Seattle? I'd love to carpool. I have a senior pass for free entry into the park. Thanks.

    July 12, 2014

    • Robert A

      We are meeting at the SR 512 Park & Ride at 7:30 AM. Those coming from the north can either meet us at the SR 512 Park & Ride at 7:30 AM or meet us at the Safeway in Enumclaw at 8:30 AM. If you are meeting us at the Safeway in Enumclaw at 8:30 AM, let me know so I know not to expect you at the SR 512 Park & Ride at 7:30 AM.

      July 17, 2014

    • Kamron R.

      Oh, ok. Well be at the SR 512 P&R then. Sorry, I was getting confused with all the talk of different P&Rs

      July 17, 2014

  • Andy T.

    It is more convenient for me to go directly to the trailhead. So I will meet the group at the trailhead around 9:45.

    July 17, 2014

  • A former member
    A former member

    Been on the last five hikes in a row so I'm bowing out so some people on the waitlist can make it. Have fun guys :)

    July 15, 2014

    • Robert A

      I expect everyone on the waitlist to get on the hike, even without you giving up your spot, so if you want you go, you should add yourself back on. Besides, this is a perfect hike to split into two groups if I do end up with more than 12.

      1 · July 16, 2014

    • A former member
      A former member

      Thank you Robert, I really appreciate that. When I took myself off the list I went ahead and made other plans though. But I'll seeya soon!

      July 16, 2014

  • Kamron R.

    I'd be willing to drive if there's no snow on the roads to the trailhead

    July 10, 2014

    • Kamron R.

      Thank you. That makes me feel a lot more comfortable with driving. I have a 7-seater van, so I can take quite a few people, but I've never driven on snow, and I'm very hesitant for the first time to be when I'm responsible for several other people.

      1 · July 14, 2014

    • Lena

      The road is completely snow free

      July 14, 2014

9 went

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