Trip Report    

Basic Snowshoe - Reflection Lakes

Great fun walking in a winter wonderland.

  • Road suitable for all vehicles
  • We had no problems entering the park from SR 161. However SR 7 is closed due to a slide,  until further notice. So check the status if that is your preferred route. Chains are required in the park in winter, but were not needed this day. The road was bare on the way up and road crews had it almost bare on the way down. Trail hazards were easy to see and avoid as snow has not yet completely covered all streams, downed trees ,etc.

We had a fun day in the snowy woods. We arrived at the park in driving rain and no snow in sight. The daily entry fee to enter Mt. Rainier NP is $30. Three of us had annual passes, so we were good. Avalanche danger was high. I knew our route was not in avalanche terrain, but I wanted my group as a whole to build their knowledge base.  We stopped to talk to the Longmire ranger about our route, the location of nearby avalanche terrain to avoid and pick up maps.

It was a magic moment when rain turned to snow just before Narada Falls. There was plenty of snow on the ground to put on snowshoes at the trailhead. The route is well marked by the rangers with bright orange stakes and signs. Everyone took turns referencing maps and leading. We did have to break trail as we were the first ones out in new snow. Our Basic Snowshoeing student was a standout at breaking trail. 

All streams and rivers are running high right now. Reflection Lakes is not yet frozen solid, I would not advise walking on a frozen lake in a volcanic area anyway. We started towards Lake Louise, but breaking trail was hard going, we had already done a lot of that. We returned to Reflection Lakes for lunch and then headed out.

Narada falls

rushing watersnow covered lake