Crystal Rainier Retreat’s Top 5 Picks for Fall Day Hikes Near Greenwater, WA
Fall Hiking Season: Foliage, Mountains, Rivers, and Forests
You’ve worked hard this year, but it isn’t over. Take a breath, take a moment, and recharge yourself. Step away from your workload and seize the opportunity to take in some of the season’s most amazing hikes.
With the last of the fall hiking season, this month is a good time to plan your forest getaway. Summer hiking in the area is quite popular, but fall in Greenwater is flat-out gorgeous. With cooler temps and fewer people crowding the trails, October is the perfect time to take in the sights and inhale that pristine mountain air.
On the way to these hiking destinations, the drive through Greenwater is spectacular. Dazzling fall colors in orange, bright gold, and red pop against the forest backdrop. The fall foliage season can go fast depending on weather, so grab your gear and let’s go!
We are a family of hikers, often taking the kids with us, as you’ll see in the photos. We’re sharing some of our favorite family hikes. Here are our Top 5 Favorites for 2019 near our rental cabin, Crystal Rainier Retreat.
7.8 Mile Roundtrip Hike
The north trailhead is a five-minute drive from Crystal Rainier Retreat on the Chinook Pass (HWY 410). If you need to smell the earthiness of the woods, see big trees, the river and plenty of waterfalls, this hike is for you.
The Washington Trails Association has a lot of details about this hike and reviews from other hikers.
5 Mile Roundtrip Hike
This is another hike close to the cabin, just a quick six-minute drive down HWY 410 from the retreat’s doorstep! While the trail has a steep start for the first 200 feet or so, the vistas are worth it. The lush, old-growth forest trail ambles near the White River where a series of switchback trails lead you to a breathtaking view of the White River Valley.
REI’s The Hiking Project has done a great job of gathering important details about this trail.
4.2 Mile Roundtrip Hike
This hike is an 8-minute drive from Crystal Rainier Retreat. At the apex of this hike, you’ll see Sun Top and its ridges flow out as part of the Cascade Mountains. There are definitely tricky parts along the way and a few challenging ascents as you reach the peak, but this short loop trail is worth it. A few waterfalls punctuate the loop, making this a rewarding little trip packed with stunning scenery.
Visit Rainier has a wonderful guest log where hikers share their descriptions of the trail and their experiences on it.
2 Miles – 12 Miles Out-and-Back Hike
The trailhead is 22 minutes from the cabin and boasts several hiking trails throughout. If your senses are craving moss-laden old-growth forest, this trailhead offers a range of sights and hiking choices. This trail starts along the Greenwater River brimming with wildlife including deer and elk who favor grazing in this area. Towards the end of the 2.2-mile trail, you’ll arrive at Upper Greenwater Lake, a choice fishing area for anglers. For more adventurous hikers, the trail continues on up to Echo Lake where you will enter the Norse Peak Wilderness.
The Forest Service’s website offers details about this hike.
#5 Lake Eleanor
4 Miles Out-and-Back Hike
The Lake Eleanor trailhead is a half-hour drive from the retreat. The drive there presents you with a riot of fall colors set against darker evergreens. The hike to the lake and its campground is relatively flat and quick. Fall colors and the deep hues of green reflect off the lake – a perfect place to enjoy the scenery over lunch. You can extend this hike into Grand Park, known as a backdoor hike to Mt. Rainier.
Visit Rainier offers wonderful details about this hike with trail highlights and tips.
Thinking of Staying Overnight? We are your day hike base!
Crystal Rainier Retreat offers luxury amenities – the perfect reward after a full day’s hike. Relax tired muscles in our 8-jet sauna or enjoy the use of our gourmet kitchen, stocked with gadgets, pots, pans, and the works. Curl up by the fire, or grab the family and pop outside to our campfire ring where your group can rehash adventures on the trail over marshmallows or hotdogs.
You and your family will have the cabin to yourselves. When your head hits the pillow and you snuggle down into any of our sumptuous beds, drift off thinking of the pristine rivers and lakes, the humbling mountain views, and the crisp, clean fall air.
You’ll be glad you took that day off of work to give yourself the irreplaceable gift of nature. Book with us now and plan your trip – fall is almost over!
Book your private resort getaway now and be sure to check out our weekday special rates.