Mother Mountain Loop - Best of the Northwest Best of the Northwest

Mother Mountain Loop

Run Spray Park Loop, Mount Rainier National Park

Climbing forested paths along Spray Falls make way to wildflower filled alpine meadows and views across the north-eastern face of Mount Rainier in this adventuresome loop.

Park along the road and descend from the Mowich Lake Campground. Begin climbing through dense forest until arriving to a viewpoint above Spray Creek. A few stream crossings later take the side trail to view the spectacular Spray Falls.

Continue climbing out of dense forest to the open alpine meadows where massive views of the mountain, Olympics and Cascades await. Follow along the ridgelines trail well marked with cairns and painted rocks, perhaps crossing a few snow fields before descending along Cataract Creek.

Cross the Carbonado suspension bridge one person at a time. From here view the bottom of the Carbon Glacier, the lowest glacier in the Continental United States.

Follow along the river above previous years washouts until crossing back across the moraine and river to connect with the old Carbon River Road trail.

Keep your eyes peeled for a trail intersection and take a left to begin the final climb over Ipsut Pass. The lush forest boasts waterfalls, and picturesque pools.

Ever climbing gradually until the last steep switchbacks through dense underbrush to the high ridge of Ipsut pass.

The final stretch descends down to Mowich lake where it is highly recommended to take a dip in the lake under the mountain before returning to the nearby parking.

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