Berkeley Park ~ Grand Park
Mount Rainier National Park
July 18, 2009 A Mountaineers CHS hike to Berkeley Park and Grand Park. This trail climbs from the Visitor Center at Sunrise to the crest of Sourdough Ridge then heads west to Frozen Lake where it begins a long, slow drop down into Berkely Park. The meadows of Berkeley Park are lush, and babbling brooks and rushing cascades flow through the park. Although we saw many burrows and heard marmots whistling in the distance, we did not see any on this hike. After reaching Berkeley Park, the trail begins to climb through woods and more meadows on its way up to Grand Park, where Mount Fremont with its lookout tower looms high above the meadows to the east.. The bugs were thriving in Grand Park, so we didn't linger over lunch. After dropping back down to Berkeley Camp, we began the long slog back up to Sourdough Ridge.
It's no secret that I love the ridges, so it was no surprise that although I enjoyed the meadows of Berkeley Park and Grand Park, the high point of this hike for me (no pun intended) was the hike along the ridge.
We saw many varieties of wildflowers, including the usual suspects: lupine, magenta paintbrush, Pasque flower, valerian, marsh marigold, avalanche lilies, glacier lilies, bear grass, elephants head, phlox, penstamen, violets, cinquefoil, mountain heather, asters, hellebore, and shooting star. We stopped at Wapati Woolie's in Greenwater for huckleberry ice cream--a real treat on a hot day--before heading home.