Quote of the Month:

“It was November--the month of crimson sunsets, parting birds,

deep, sad hymns of the sea, passionate wind-songs in the pines." - L.M. Montgomery, Anne of Green Gables

Grand Park Trail

Parent Category: Hiking
Created: 12 October 2014
Length: 9 miles
Hiking Time: 6-7 hours
Elevation Gain: 1100 ft
Highest Point: 5600 ft
Location: Trailhead: N 46° 59' 48", W 121° 38' 30"
Visitor’s Information: Northwest Forest Pass Required
Snow Free:

Late-May - Late-October

Features: Meadows, Mountain views, Wildlife, Wildflowers

Photo from Mount Rainier National Park, Grand Park TrailPictures and the video below will take you on a virtual hiking tour along the massive plateau! Enjoy views of beautiful Mount Rainier!

General Information:

Photo from Mount Rainier National Park, Grand Park Trail

It’s just impossible to miss the massive plateau in Mount Rainier National Park. Grand Park, is popular among hikers because of the wonderful views in front of you. Grand Park is about 1.5 miles long and 0.5 mile wide. This territory is considered to be the flattest on the territory of Mount Rainier National Park. Not many places in Mount Rainier National Park offer such a gorgeous and breathtaking view of Mount Rainier.

Photo from Mount Rainier National Park, Grand Park Trail

There are several ways you can get into the park: the traditional that starts from Sunrise and the unofficial via Lake Eleanor. The traditional approach to the park is tough and long; so many hikers just prefer taking a backdoor route.

This unofficial trail has been a boot trail. It was created by fishermen who were looking for quick access to Lake Eleanor. Today this trail is used by a great number of hikers and is considered to be in a good condition and well-maintained.

The trail runs southwest and enters beautiful, cool mixed forest and goes upward towards Lake Eleanor. We hiked in October and had the opportunity to enjoy the path that runs through the dense forest with lots of fallen trees. Within 0.5 mile, the trail enters Mt. Rainier National Park and in a mile hikers will enjoy the calmness of the lake.

Photo from Mount Rainier National Park, Grand Park Trail

Lake Eleanor, a 20-acre alpine lake, and the creek were named by Burgon D. Mesler in honor of his wife Eleanor. This family lived in this area, and they were owners of a small hotel which usually was used by travelers who headed over the Cascades or just visited this beautiful park.

There are several campsites around the lake that can serve a perfect place for a snack.

From the lake, the trail goes upward again through the forest and at about 1.5 miles it crosses picturesque meadows. Fall colors are perfect here, check our latest pictures below. Evergreens together with autumn plants make this place a masterpiece. When you walk along the trail and enjoy this perfect picture, you catch yourself thinking about the Creator of this masterpiece. Here hikers recommend watching for deer and elk. Continue hiking the trail that runs through the forest for the next mile and then enters meadows full of flowers in summer and full of autumn colors in fall.

Photo from Mount Rainier National Park, Grand Park Trail

At about 3.5 miles out the trail will offer hikers first picturesque views of Mount Rainier. This is the best place to take pictures and enjoy the views.

At 4.5 miles out hikers come up to a junction where they can turn back. Spring and summer are the best seasons for visiting this park as meadows are filled with wildflowers and grassland, but we haven't regreted that we chose October for our hike. The weather was perfect and the trail was not crowded. We enjoyed the quietness and solitudes of the park.

If you haven’t been to Grand Park yet, add this trail to your wish list of hikes, it is worth while visiting!

 

These pictures were taken on October 3, 2014

Directions:

From I-5:

Take I-5 south to Highway 18. Take Exit 142A. Continue on Highway 18 into Auburn. Take Exit SR 164. Continue going left on SR 164 to SR 410. Continue going left onto SR 410 for about 25 miles to Huckleberry Creek Road (FR 73). Turn right and continue along FR 73. In 6 miles cross Huckleberry Creek bridge and follow FR 73 to the bridge that crosses Eleanor Creek. Remember, there is no official trailhead here.

Photo: Roman Khomlyak

Photo Editing: Alex Mandryko

Information: Marina Petrova

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