The Pacific Crest Trail traverses the Norse Peak Wilderness in Washington state through some of the most beautiful country my hiking companion, Bob, and I have traveled. Of the thousand or more miles of the PCT that we have hiked, this section does indeed, like its namesake, run close to the actual crest of the Cascades. We started at Chinook Pass which lies at the northeast boundary of Mt Rainier National Park and hiked north. We absorbed many views of this mountain as it rose above the trail. The trail rarely varied more than five hundred feet, and we enjoyed many views of open park like basins. The meadows were rich with colors–green grasses and wildflowers of every imaginable color: yellow, white, blue, purple, red, pink, and many hues in between. Wildly joyous is the best word I can think when describing the mood of our hike!
|Pacific Crest Trail, south from Chinook Pass|
|Mt Rainier above Crystal Lake|
|Basin Lake from the PCT|
|Leaving the parking lot at Chinook Pass|
|We dropped down to Basin Lake at the far end of the trail|