I did a loop hike of Burroughs Mountain in the Sunrise area of Mount Rainier National Park. Starting from the parking lot, I hiked south to pass Shadow Lake, up to the Glacier Overlook, through the Burroughs, then down towards the Glacier Basin Camp. Then I backtracked to the start of the Burroughs. To make a circuit, I hiked north towards Frozen Lake and back to the Sunrise parking lot.
I started hiking early in the day, when the mountains were shrouded in dense fog. I knew the views were amazing and that there were mountains surrounding me, but I couldn’t see Mt. Rainier, only the terrain in front of me. As the day went on, the sun burned away the clouds. Little by little, Mt. Rainier became fully visible. Every step was simply breathtaking.
Back at the visitor center, I went on a guided ranger walk. The ranger taught us how different animals survive Mt. Rainier’s harsh winters. Bears sleep deeply to conserve energy. But their heart rates do not drastically slow down, so this is not true hibernation, and they will wake up when disrupted. The gray jay uses its sticky saliva to paste seeds to the tops of trees to store food for winter. Elk and deer move to lower ground, below the snow line.