Spray Park and Knapsack Pass

August 6 2016

My hiking companion Cheryl and I set off to do a big hike that I had previously done I call the Spray Park Loop. The loop starts at Mowich Lake, goes through Spray Park and over Seattle Park, down to the Carbon River, then on to the Wonderland Trail for the return over Ipsut Pass. Its a pretty big hike at about 16 miles, and around 4500' of elevation gain. It is tough too because the last part of the hike requires a 2600' climb out of the Carbon River drainage. It's what I call an upside-down hike.

About half way through Spray Park, we decided we just weren't feeling it and decided to do something a little easier.  We decided to do a different loop I call the Knapsack Pass Loop, only we would do it in reverse. Start at Mowich, hike through Spray Park and on to Seattle Park then turn around at the high point of the trail at Seattle Park and hit the way trail that goes over Knapsack Pass. It turned out to be a great decision.

Parking area is always full in the summer. I've seen over a mile of cars parked along the shoulder.
Spray Falls. The falls are on an offshoot of the Spray Park Trail and shouldn't be missed if you have the time.
Spray Falls
One of the first meadows as you enter Spray Park
The resident Spray Park bear. I've seen bears here on more than one occasion.
I want to go up this side trail some time. The map below calls the summit on the left, Hessong Rock, while going right from the saddle would get you over to Mt Pleasant. I imagine the view is pretty spectacular.
My hiking companion Cheryl inspecting the flowers.
Flowers everywhere!
Hikers approaching the high point of the Wonderland Trail alternate - Seattle Park.
Mid Summer Avalanche Lily
Nature's garden.
Beautiful flat meadow below Spray Park. The map below calls this Mist Park.
Mountain Goats grazing up above near East Fay Peak.
Looking back at the mountain from just Below Knapsack Pass.
This imposing rock is on the Mother Mountain side of the pass. I just find it interesting.
Mowich Lake from the pass.
Looking back at Rainier from the pass.
The Knapsack Pass resident Marmot.
Heading down Knapsack Pass (or going up if coming from the Mowich Lake side), you can look back and see this cool rock formation. I call this rock "The Lovers" since it looks to me like they are kissing. The map below notes this as East Fay Peak.
Looking back up at Knapsack Pass from about half way down.
Flora and Fauna
Mowich Lake
Stand Up Paddlers on Mowich Lake.

7.5 miles and around 2200' of elevation gain.

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