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Let’s hike the Silver Falls Loop and Cowlitz Divide Trail to Olallie Creek Camp. We'll start at the Ohanapecosh Visitor Center and hike the eastern half of the loop to the junction with the Cowlitz Divide Trail. We will then follow that trail across Stevens Canyon Road and up to Olallie Creek Camp. We'll turn around at the Olallie Creek crossing, which is just past the campsite, and then follow the western half of the Silver Falls Loop back to the Ohanapecosh Visitor Center. Afterwards, we may stop somewhere for ice cream or dinner. I will need at least 3 people willing to drive.
Note: This hike is dependent on Cayuse Pass being open. If the pass is still closed on May 10, this trip will be swapped with the May 17 trip to Rampart Ridge Loop & Pyramid Creek Camp.
Excerpt from "Day Hiking Mount Rainier" by Dan A. Nelson
Hike #40 - Silver Falls Loop. The Ohanapecosh River may be the most picturesque stream in the park, with its crystal-clear waters, moss-laden banks, and tall forests above. One of the prettiest sections of this most attractive river is Silver Falls. This sparkling cascade tumbles over a jagged, rocky ledge, creating a noisy splash full of silver streamers and frothy white water. The trail to the falls draws lots of hikers of all ages and abilities since it is relatively flat, well graded, and easily accessible. Don't let the masses get you down, though, since even on the busiest Saturday afternoons, this hike is well worth the effort.
Hike # 42 - Olallie Creek Camp. Few casual hikers venture out on this forest hike. After all, there are no grand vistas to enjoy, no thundering waterfalls, no vast fields of wildflowers. But you will find virgin forest ecosystems to explore, a pretty river valley to enjoy, and a quiet camp to relax in before turning home.
• Trailhead ETA: 9:30 am. • Round Trip: 9.3 miles.
• Starting Elevation: 1,880 feet. • Ascent Elevation: 2,073 feet.
• High Point: 3,953 feet. • Difficulty: Moderate/difficult.
• Pace: Slow/moderate. • Hiking Time: 6.25 hours.
• Special Features: Established campsites, rivers, waterfalls.
• Maps: Green Trails Mount Rainier East, No. 270.
• Hot Springs Trailhead: N 46° 44' 10.518", W 121° 33' 59.144" (https://maps.google.com/maps?q=N+46+44'+10.518%22,+W+121+33'+59.144%22&hl=en&sll=47.272986,-120.882277&sspn=4.771091,12.689209&t=m&z=16)
• Cowlitz Divide Trailhead: N 46° 45' 21.376", W 121° 33' 47.839" (https://maps.google.com/maps?q=N+46+45'+21.376%22,+W+121+33'+47.839%22&hl=en&sll=46.736255,-121.566429&sspn=0.009412,0.024784&t=m&z=16)
• Olallie Creek Crossing: N 46° 46' 31.553", W 121° 35' 15.571" (https://maps.google.com/maps?q=N+46+46'+31.553%22,+W+121+35'+15.571%22&hl=en&sll=46.736255,-121.566429&sspn=0.009412,0.024784&t=m&z=15)
What to Bring: Day pack with the 10 Essentials (http://www.rei.com/learn/expert-advice/ten-essentials.html), 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: Longmire Wilderness Information Center, (360) 569-6650.
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 about 47 miles on State Route 410 to the junction with SR 123 at Cayuse Pass. Stay right (straight ahead) to merge onto SR 123-Cayuse Pass Highway. Drive south about 11.5 miles to the junction with the Stevens Canyon Road. Continue south on SR 123 past the Stevens Canyon Road to the Ohanapecosh Campground on the right in about 3 miles. Turn in to the campground and park in front of the visitor center. The trailhead is found behind the visitor center. From the south, drive US 12 about 8 miles east of Packwood to the junction with SR 123. Turn north onto SR 123 and continue 3.5 miles to Ohanapecosh Campground. Turn left (west) into the campground and park as described above.
• 7-Day Weather Forecast (http://forecast.weather.gov/MapClick.php?lon=-121.58219&lat=46.77472)
• Ohanapecosh Area Trails (http://www.nps.gov/mora/planyourvisit/upload/Ohanapecosh-Area-Trails-Aug11.pdf)
• WTA Hiking Guide and Trip Reports (http://www.wta.org/go-hiking/hikes/silver-falls-loop) - Silver Falls Loop
• WTA Hiking Guide and Trip Reports (http://www.wta.org/go-hiking/hikes/ollalie-creek-camp) - Olallie Creek Camp
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.