Hike Noble Knob 7/9

18 of us hiked along a beautiful high ridge just outside Mt Rainier NP, and were delighted by a profusion of wildflowers with Rainier rising above and many other peaks visible as well.

The Corral Pass Road to this hike had just opened a few days earlier, and the snow had also just melted, so it was the perfect time to do it. The final leg of the drive was dusty and rough, gaining 3000 feet of elevation in 6 miles, but it brought us up to an elevation of 5700 feet, which meant that we were almost immediately hiking through open meadows with great views. All kinds of wildflowers were blooming along the trail including, among others, lupine, paintbrush, columbine, alpine penstemon and phlox. Nearby Mt Rainier was often in sight above the trail. It didn't take us long to get to the rocky pinnacle that is Noble Knob. There we lunched not only with Mt Rainier looming above but also with views of Glacier Peak, the Stuart Range and the Enchantments. A nice breeze seemed to keep the bugs away.

In doing this hike, we were directly benefiting from the efforts of outdoor organizations like WTA, which succeeded in getting the Forest Service to reverse their decision at the end of the 2015 season to close down this road permanently. The word of the road's re-opening apparently had not yet got around so we encountered fewer than a couple dozen other hikers the whole time, along with about a dozen very polite mountain bikers. After sauntering back along the ridge to the trailhead, we grabbed a table at a nice picnic area and lingered a while over snacks and drinks before the drive back to the city.

Participants: Mike J, Phil B, Parker and Paul W, Tom R, Bob C, John B, Stephen D, Brian H, Jeff S., Andrew K, Robert S, Bill M, Antonio L. and Kelly K.

Submitted: 07/10/17
Article By: Himes, Rex

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