Spray Falls/Spray Park

Hike and drive time-frame for the day:  7:30AM-5:00PM (this means we'll aim to return to the 512 P&R by 5PM)

We'll meet up at 7:30AM at the 512 P&R- look for us on the northern end (McDonald's), and enter the P&R on 104th St Ct SW . Please do not park in the McDonald's lot for the day! You will be towed!

*We are NOT meeting up in Orting as previously mentioned!

Destination: Mowich Lake TH in MRNP

Spray Falls (E/M)

Spray Park (M/D)

 

DISTANCE: 6 miles, RT HIKING TIME: 3 hrs ELEVATION GAIN: 2,200 ft HIGH POINT: 5,800 ft SNOW FREE: Mid-July - Mid-October


VisitRainier.com says this:

If you love the flowered meadows so well known at Paradise on Mt. Rainier's south side, you'll be ecstatic upon discovering Spray Park, on the mountain's northwest side.

Dazzling with midsummer explosions of avalanche lilies and other alpine flowers, Spray Park also offers splendid close-up views of Mt. Rainier and exposed rock. While it requires a bit of effort, the hike has a marvelous payoff in dividends of spectacular scenery.

You begin your hike at Mowich Lake campground (4,900 ft) after enduring an eventful 16-mile drive on a potholed gravel road. To get to the gravel road, the drive is more routine: From Puyallup, travel 13 miles east on Highway 410 to Buckley, turn right (south) onto Highway 165, and proceed through Carbonado. Just beyond the Carbon River Gorge bridge, veer right onto Mowich Lake Road.

You'll find the start of the trail at the end of the road and parking lot, near the outlet of Mowich Lake (southeast side of lake). The trail descends 1/4 of a mile to a junction with the Wonderland Trail. Go left (east) on the Spray Park trail. You don't want to go right or you'll be going around the mountain toward Paradise, a hike for another day.

The Spray Park trail winds its way up and down through forested terrain. Notice the trees cloaked with long stringy moss and the relative absence of sound other than your own breathing and footsteps.

The trail loses, perhaps, a hundred or two hundred ft of elevation as it rounds Fay Peak, Hessong Rock, and what appears to be a number of avalanche chutes. After attaining the low point of the entire hike at about one-half hour or so into the journey, you start to climb.

Eagle Cliff, at 1 1/2 miles into the hike, is a nice spot to rest momentarily and enjoy the wonder of Mt. Rainier, especially taking in the Mowich Glacier.

Onward and upward, you'll pass Eagle Roost backcountry camp. Look for a side trail (not well marked) to Spray Falls 1/4 of a mile away.

Take the diversion, either now or on the way back. You'll appreciate the wide splash of water 80 ft high and 50 ft wide even though this is only a fraction of the falls.

The main part is uphill and out of sight. What you can see, however, has enough beauty to please. Drink in the fall's splendor, then back track to the main trail and keep heading up. From the falls, you'll be on switchbacks, climbing 600 ft in 1/2 mile, arriving at Spray Park's lower meadows. This is a good choice for a lunch break.

Depending upon how you feel and the time of day, you can turn around and head back content over the glorious flowered meadows and Rainier's impressive backdrop to 7,800-foot Echo Rock and 8,300-foot Observation Rock.

If you're not ready to leave just yet, a few minutes away is the first broad meadow in this vast virtual garden, under aptly named Mount Pleasant. The farther you go, the better the views. Staying on the trail, you will make it to a 6,400-foot ridge above Seattle Park.

On a clear day, your view stretches from the lower flanks of Mount Rainier to the North Cascades. This is a logical turn-around spot.

When you get back to Mowich Lake, soak your hot, tired ft in the cool water,  before heading home refreshed and rewarded by the day at Spray Park.


WTA says this:  

7.5 miles RT (this must include the side-trip to Spray Falls)

Elevation Gain: 1,600'  Highest Point:  6,400'

FEATURES:  Waterfalls, old growth wildflowers/meadows, mountain views, wildlife.

Dogs are NOT allowed in this area!

 

A National Parks/Federal Lands pass is required to park in the Mowich area!   I have a temporary one in my vehicle. 

 

Please Bring:
Water, lunch/energy snacks, hat w/ brim and other sun protection, bug repellent, trekking poles, day-hike essentials, sturdy/comfortable shoes/boots and a plastic bag for soiled/damp shoes upon return. $5 per passenger for fuel.  

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  • Cristi

    Fantastic hike with beautiful views of the mountain & falls! Really fun lunch break with sliding on the snow! :)

    August 24, 2011

  • David T.

    One of the most picturesque hikes I have been on and without a doubt the funnest lunch ever watching everyone slide down the snow sitting on those little bits of plastic. I have never laughed so hard on a hike.

    August 18, 2011

  • Davene

    Kiley, I emailed you my video let me know if it works, it is the one of Mike too funny! Hey all send me your email and I'll send it to you as well. I had so much with you all, Big Hugs!!

    August 18, 2011

  • Davene

    The last time I hiked here it was cloudy, today was sunshine and clear! Mt Rainier was standing strong in all her glory and beautiful as ever! Spray Park, Spray Falls and the meadows were breathtaking. Of course looking down into the valley and Mowich Lake was like looking at God's paint brush efforts! Awe!!!! My fellow hikers were so much fun, lots of laughes and the sharing of knowledge and past experiences is a bonus!! Thanks all!! Mike you're always such a great leader!!

    August 18, 2011

  • Natalie

    Sledding in August!!! Yeah!

    August 18, 2011

  • Mike T.

    What an awe-inspiring day! The meadows at Spray Park were so beautiful, and lunchtime was spent sledding down a snow patch..FUN!!! A picture-perfect day! Thanks so much, Davene, for driving!!! Everyone present made this hike really special! :-)

    August 17, 2011

  • Kiley B.

    Ok guys, I really need photos/video of the lunch time sledding! [masked]

    August 17, 2011

  • Natalie

    I don't have a pass for parking. If I end up driving, I'll have to stop to buy one.

    August 16, 2011

  • Mike T.

    ok--looks like we can all fit into 2 vehicles at this point :) I'll be driving as I have a pass..

    August 16, 2011

  • Davene

    Mike Kiley & I will be in my Sante Fe if you still need another driver? See you at the P&R.

    August 16, 2011

  • Natalie

    I can drive. I'll see you at the park and ride (white Explorer).

    August 16, 2011

  • Kiley B.

    I'm not sure I know how to get messages, but feel free to email me at [masked]. Do you want to drive from here to the P&R or would you like me to (I only have 2 spots in my car including the driver, no backseats for now).

    August 16, 2011

  • Davene

    Hi Kiley,
    That would be great! I'll message you my cell so we can exchange info and arrange the time to meet. Talk soon!

    August 16, 2011

  • Mike T.

    I need one more driver for tomorrow's hike.

    August 16, 2011

  • Kiley B.

    Davene, I live just off exit 105 (really, like 2 mins) so if you want to meet near my apartment (plenty of free parking) or somewhere else between Oly & Lacey, I'd be happy to carpool.

    August 16, 2011

  • Davene

    If anyone is interested in carpooling from the south let me know, I'm coming from Chehalis. Can't wait to share this amazing hike with new hiker friends! The weather is supposed to be beautiful!

    August 16, 2011

  • Mike T.

    The hours i'll post as travel-hike time is 7:30AM-5PM

    August 15, 2011

  • SusanR

    Mike do you know how long we will be out there and our return time to the park and ride?

    August 15, 2011

  • Mike T.

    Yes, i'll pick you up around 7:20AM as we'll be meeting up at the 512 P&R around 7:30AM :)

    August 13, 2011

  • David T.

    Mike, can you pick me up. I will have what you asked for Crater Lake.

    August 13, 2011

  • Sheila

    Is this a shorter hike?
    What time would we be back?

    August 13, 2011

  • Davene

    Hi Mike! If I can come where would you suggest I meet you, leaving from Chehalis area. Be glad to carpool with anyone in the area, are you going Monica??

    August 13, 2011

6 went

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