The South side of Mt. Rainier offers such a great winter playground and despite
the longer drive it's a very worthwhile destination. Once again the forecast
lured us down there with a promise of a sunny day and spectacular views.
Driving into Paradise was completely different experience from the previous
weekend when during our Camp Muir ascend the area swallowed us in a thick
never-ending fog completely blocking any possible views in all directions. The
weather today was delivered just as promised and except for few very cool
looking lenticular clouds, the sky was blue and all mountains were out in their
This time we headed towards Mazama Ridge. The trail started nearly flat letting
us enjoy the views of Mt. Rainier but the easy part did not last long. Soon we
found ourselves climbing our first hill…. and even small hills took some sweat
on this hot day. Our effort got rewarded with really good views of Tatoosh Range
and other major peaks sitting in distance.
Another hill - steeper and longer – took us atop Mazama Ridge. We followed the
ridge for a while; soaking the views and enjoying the nice day; then dropped to
Reflection Lake for a lunch break before completing the loop following Paradise