The more epic, the better


When I’m perusing potential hikes, I try to find the grandest, most epic places possible. But I don’t want to have to work too hard to get there.

That’s been my M.O. this year, post-Rainier summit climb. Last year, I sweated my butt off getting to the tops of every mountain in the vicinity while I trained. And now I’m feeling much more low-key. I don’t mind elevating my pulse a bit, but there are plenty of opportunities around here to see incredible stuff without killing yourself.

So that was the goal when I headed to Mount Rainier this past weekend. Hiking buddy Sam and I camped just outside the Sunrise entrance and explored the Glacier Basin trail, which climbs gently along the White River towards the mountain. And by the end, you’re in a massive bowl surrounded by snow-streaked peaks, and Mount Rainier’s white dome is barely visible. You’re so close to the volcano it almost disappears behind the smaller mountains surrounding it.

There’s a camp at the end of the trail, which is actually part of the route up the Emmons Glacier to the summit. Backpacking trip, maybe?