Naches Peak Loop & Grove of Patriarchs
Naches Peak Loop is my favorite Hike since we've lived here (so far)! This hike is about three miles long round trip. There is about 600 feet of elevation gains. If you take it slow I think the younger kiddos will be fine, Aurora did the whole thing without asking to be carried! You'll need an America the Beautiful Pass which is free for military.
Fashion first! Layers are everything. The day we went it was unfortunately very cloudy. You are so high up you are in the clouds and getting constantly misted. I grabbed the Shawna Floral Workout Set ($40) for a cute but practical look. Sneakers are my go to for non-snow hikes so I also grabbed the Zana Glitter Sneakers ($30). Now you may think white gets dirty easily, but if you get dirt on them just spray it with water and it washes right off! I had a rain jacket with a hood and a north face windbreaker. I was cold then I was hot then it was raining and then it was not. So it was a lot of on and off with the layers but you'll be grateful to have them! Come shop with us at 116 S Meridian in Puyallup or online at www.livandrory.com for FREE shipping!
So directions. I was actually able to pull it up on Apple Maps but I used the directions from the All Trails App. It's a free app with all the Hikes that are out there on it. Just search for "Naches Peak". It will even show you where you are during the hike so you can track how far you still have to go. Keep in mind there is absolutely NO CELL SERVICE. We couldn't get service an hour out from the park so make sure you pull up directions beforehand.
The directions from All Trails will spit you out right in the parking lot. This is your only chance for restrooms, trash cans, and picnic tables as there are none on the trail.
The trail can can be a bit confusing at times since there are so many little side trails as well as intersecting trails. When you start at Tipsoo Lake you'll see a sign on the left side of the lake that says "Naches Peak Loop" and you can go either way. We went left and did the trail clockwise. On a clear day (which it wasn't when we went) you'll be facing Rainier as you hike.
It was still a gorgeous trail but we were super bummed that the mountain wasn't out.
When you get to this bridge the trail forks, you want to continue over the bridge for the Naches Peak Loop. This makes a great photo spot!
Mid July there was still some snow on the mountains. The roads were completely clear and the trail itself didn't have snow but you could definitely play in some if you wanted.
This trail had some of the most amazing views. Lucky for us, the wildflowers were in bloom.
We did not spot any deers this hike but we did see quite a few birds and a chipmunk.
Travis says I always take the same smiling photos, so he made me do these!
Dogs are not allowed on the trail but we passed at least five with thier owners.
We spotted some pretty cool mushrooms and succulents!
You will pass quite a few ponds on the trail. It'd be great to splash around in on a hot sunny day!
There are lots of stream crossings (very tiny) but it does make the trail pretty wet and muddy in parts. You'll also pass quite a few "mini waterfalls" as Aurora likes to call them.
The trail ends by the roadside of Tipsoo Lake which is where the parking lot is and where we started. On a clear day you should be able to see Mt.Rainier from here.
We headed over over to Grove of The Patriarchs next. This one is just 1.5 miles round trip and is a fifteen minute drive away so they are easily doable in one day.
The trail is right inside the Rainier National Park gate. The parking lot was full when we got there so we had to park on the side of the road. There are nice restroom facilities here with actual toilets and sinks (versus port-o-potty and hand sanitizer).
The trailhead is clearly marked beside the restrooms. This trail actually has little informational and educational plaques along the entire trail.
The river is just 0.3 of a mile away and is great to play in. We only put our feet in the ice cold water but on a hot day it would've felt great. We enjoyed skipping rocks.
This trail also featrues a suspension bridge. It's definitely a bit shaky and the sign says to only go one at a time.
There is a really cool downed tree on the trail that is so big it's unreal. Here's a photo of the three of us inside the roots.
When you get to the boardwalk you'll go around there and then turn around and go back the way you came.
On the boardwalk trail you'll see some really big and old trees.
There are some nice benches to sit and take in the view.
Overall an easy and enjoyable short hike! I wouldn't head to Rainier just for this one, but it's great to squeeze in with another like the Naches Peak Loop!
You are Beautiful, You are Strong, You are Smart, so Dress like it!
Love, Liv & Rory