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Snow adventure: Camp Muir
A longtime Washington outdoors writer offers up some of his all-time favorite places and adventures. See the related links below for a list of outings.
Imagine being able to hike nearly two miles high, almost as high as the top of Glacier Peak, without having to schlep a bunch of mountaineering gear. That’s the epic grind to Camp Muir, located at 10,188 feet on Mount Rainier’s southern flank.
Views extend seemingly to Northern California and are punctuated by a regal lineup of volcanic peaks, including Adams, St. Helens, Hood, Jefferson and beyond. Also cool is Camp Muir’s fortresslike stone structure that serves as base camp for climbers making for the summit.
Do be advised that this is a strenuous hike, most of it on permanent snowfield and at an elevation where the weather can turn deadly in a flash. Checking mountrainierclimbing.blogspot.com for the latest conditions before heading up is a must.
Location: Depart from Paradise at Mount Rainier National Park, about 2½ hours south of Seattle.
Mike McQuaide is the author of six guidebooks including “75 Classic Rides: Washington” (The Mountaineers Books).