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Trip Report    

CHS 1 Hike - Kautz Creek

A glorious day with stunning view of Mt Rainier, Mt Adams, and in the far distance, Mt Hood. Wildflowers and butterflies bountiful.

  • Road suitable for all vehicles
  • The tread for much of the trail is on soft forest floor with short portions of rock and gravel. We cross two creeks on the trail - the second about 2.5-3 miles in. Water should be grabbed here if needed.

Seven of us had a wonderful day in Mt. Rainier NP. We started from the Kautz Creek trailhead (clean outhouse) at about 9:15 AM. The morning was cool (in the high 50s/low 60s), and much of the trail was under shade. During the last third of the trip, we encountered several meadows filled with wildflowers and tiny little powder blue butterflies that congregate by the tens.

It took us about 3:30 to travel about six miles and 3,400 ft gain to Indian Henry's Hunting Ground. We only encounter two downed logs at the end of the route. One could easily be stepped over; the other was not difficult to climb over.

There was bugs once we hit the meadows (starting around the 4 mile mark) but all in all, they were not terrible. Some bug juice kept them at bay while we enjoyed a warm sunny lunch in the gorgeous IHHG meadows with beautiful Tahoma (Rainier) as the backdrop.

We took 2:45 to reach the cars. The temperature was warmer and the sun was out, but again the shade kept us comfortable on the hike out. All in all, the trip including lunch took 7 hours. Total mileage and gain: ~12.2 mi & 3,750 (inc. some gain on hike out).

We stopped at Base Camp Grill in Ashford for food, drinks, and people-watching on the way home.

A glorious day! A great group of hikers!