Mt Rainier National Park: Paradise to Reflection Lakes
On the morning of February 10th, Jim, Dianne, Glen, Tatjana, Joanie, Ron and George headed to Rainier on a frosty but clear sunny day. The objective was to snowshoe from Paradise to Reflection Lake via the Lakes Trail.
At approximately 7am we departed some by car pooling and by caravan. Seems some of the Friday evening party animals needed some more sleep in the 2 hour drive to Paradise.
Upon arrival the parking lot at Paradise was full so we parked in the overflow lot, suited up , took photos and reviewed our route. The route started at the east end of the main Paradise parking lot where the road plowing stops. There is a trail marker there. The plan was to take the trail generally known as the Lakes Trail as it goes to the Reflection and Louise lakes. The trail descents approximately 566 ft and is 2.2 miles mostly downhill and steep in places.
The trail is marked and in good snow shoe conditions, we passed the turn off to Narada Falls, where we adjusted our packs, shredded some clothing and continued to the Valley Road which we followed to Reflection Lake.
There we had a nice lunch in warm and sunny conditions while Tatiana entertained us by feeding the J’s and taking selfies.
Upon returning, the group split at the lakes trail and valley road intersection, with some returning the way of our descent, others taking the Valley Road back to Paradise. We rendezvous at the VC, packed up and drove our separate ways home. It was a great day. I left my house at 6:30am and returned at approximately 6:30pm.
Total time on the trail, approximately 5 and half hours. Total distance approx. 4.25 miles, those that took the valley road back added another mile.