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Trip Report    

Day Hike - Eastside Trail (Mount Rainier)

A perfect car shuttle hike makes this Eastside Trail an amazing gem! Five waterfalls and the emerald greens of the Ohanapecosh River make this descending trail a perfect hike on a hot day.

  • Road suitable for all vehicles
  • This excursion was part of the Tacoma Branch CHS for 2022. A car shuttle is involved as this cannot be done as loop without adding many miles. We parked at the Ohanapeocosh Day Use Area and shuttled two cars to the Owyhigh Lakes trailhead to begin our decent of 9 plus miles back to the day use area.

    We encountered many down trees .... definitely a commonality on PNW trails this year. All downed trees were manageable without much difficulty. Even for us shorter folks.

    One bridge is leaning a good deal, but is sturdy at this point. We crossed on the upper angle of the slant.

    slanty bridge.jpg

    Our group hiked many miles before we encountered another hiker.

    Bugs were very minimal.

This was a first-time hike on the Eastside Trail for many in our group including the leader!! Definitely doing a car shuttle makes this a wonderful exploration of this less traveled trail on Mt. Rainier National Park's east side. It is also an excellent hike for hot days! We passed 5 waterfalls and had many beautiful, breathtaking views of the emerald green Ohanapecosh River.

Stafford Falls is definitely worth the very short social trail to the viewpoint. This is the second of 5 waterfalls you will enjoy along this section.

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The amount of old-growth forest along the trail has one admiring the passage of time for many Douglas-fir and Western Red Cedar Trees. Our group enjoyed lunch at the third major waterfall along the trail just passed the very sturdy bridge. Excellent shade, space for 8 plus hikers and stunning scenery made this a lunchtime favorite.


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We didn't see any other hikers until we neared the Grove of the Patriarchs area. This loop is closed for the season due to damage to the suspension bridge during the winter storms. Once we neared the Silver Falls area, we saw a steady flow of other hikers as we made our way to the campground and day use area.

Silver Falls is certainly a highlight for many along this trail and great final waterfall along this 9 mile plus trail.

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As you near the day use/campground area, you will pass the natural hot spring area reminding you that your are indeed hiking on an active volcano!!! Everyone was thrilled with this hike and many said it was their best hike of the season so far!! Truly a trail with waterfalls keeps folks in their happy place and I know many will find their way back on this trail.