Day Hike - Kautz Creek


Day Hike - Kautz Creek

Photography oriented day hike at peak bloom to Indian Henry's Hunting Ground and Mirror Lake where we will stay through the golden hour and sunset and hike out using headlamp.

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  • Strenuous
  • Challenging
  • Mileage: 12.0 mi
  • Elevation Gain: 3,200 ft

Meet at the Kautz Creek Trail Head at 9:00 AM or before to make sure we secure parking. To get here, drive east from Tacoma on State Route 7 and bear left onto SR 706 at the town of Elbe.  Continue east through the Nisqually Entrance of Mount Rainier National Park, and proceed 3 miles farther to the parking area on the right just beyond the Kautz Creek Bridge.  The trail begins on the north side of the road.  This will be an intense hike and is 12 miles round trip with 3,800 feet elevation gain.  The Kautz Creek Route is the most straight forward which will help us when exiting at least part way with headlamps.    

This will be a photography oriented day hike to Indian Henry's Hunting Ground at the peak of the wildflower bloom season.  I have led a photography oriented trip to Indian Henry's before at this time of the year and it is nothing short of spectacular.  You will love the perspective of the mountain from this area, the Ranger Patrol Cabin ideally located in the middle of a large meadow, and the beautiful Mt. Rainier Reflection from Mirror Lake. This trip is intended for either beginning photographers who wish to improve their photography skills or experienced landscape photographers.  Due to elevation gain along with hiking out using headlamp, this will be a physically challenging hike.  Nevertheless we will stop frequently and as needed to take full advantage of photographic opportunities.  We will be limiting this trip to 6 participants to limit our impact on the environment and to ensure a better quality experience for all participants.  Due to the challenging nature of this trip, leadership permission is required.


Kautz Creek

Required Equipment

Required Equipment

The Ten Essentials

  1. Navigation
  2. Sun protection
  3. Insulation (extra clothing)
  4. Illumination
  5. First aid supplies
  6. Fire
  7. Repair kit and tools, including knife
  8. Nutrition (extra food)
  9. Hydration (extra water)
  10. Emergency shelter
Trip Reports