Rode to Sunrise in Mt. Rainier National Park with my wife today, and thought I would share a ride report and a few photos.
Today was one of those heavenly Seattle days we dream about during the dark days of January. The bluest of skies, low 70's temperatures, gentle breezes. I suggested to my wife that we take our road bikes to Mt. Rainier (about an hour and 45 minute drive), drop the car outside the National Park, and pedal up to Sunrise. From where I planned to drop the car, this would be a 20 mile pedal with about 3,600 feet of elevation gain. Happily, my wife agreed and off we went! Here are a few photos from the ride up.
The park entrance is at about 3600 feet, and we pedaled up the road through a thick forest. Not much by way of views yet.
We saw two Black Bears along to road! Here is one that was eating grass. I took this photo as I was pedaling past - did not want to stop as the bear was no more than 20'-30' feet from me.
I had to chuckle when I saw this sign. 35MPH was no problem going up, as the grade was pretty much a steady 6% until you got near the top. Going down was another story all together. I was so proud of my wife today. She pedaled to the top without a complaint. a real trooper.
We saw patchy snow starting at about 4000 feet, when we got to 5000 feet the snow became more persistent. That's Mt. Rainier peeking through the trees straight ahead.
As when we got near the top and broke out of the trees, we were treated to eye-popping views. That's Mt. Rainier on the left.
Here is a shot of Mt. Adams (in the distance) from Sunrise point.
Another shot of Mt. Rainier just before we arrived at the top.
There was an amazing amount of snow at the Sunrise parking lot (6400 feet). Here the path to the restrooms. I should have put a person in the photo for perspective - those snow walls are almost 10 feet high.
And finally, I wanted to get a photo of my wife and I in front of the Sunrise sign, but we had trouble finding it for all the snow. Here is my wife by the sign, which say "Sunrise Elevation 6,400".
No photos from the trip down because I was going to fast We flew down at around 35MPH, hardly pedaling and rarely touching our brakes. It was a sweet, sweet descent!
This is a fantastic ride. highly recommended if you are in the Seattle area.