Lupine Season – Rainier’s Naches Peak Loop Trail

I love this trail. Its short and sweet, does a nice loop back to the parking lot and has tons of wildflowers and mountain scenery.   The lupine is strong now, especially up by the tarn on the south side of the loop. Lupine is also filling in around the Tipsoo lakes as well. Lots of hikers today of all sorts, everyone enjoying the weather and the flowers. Car-camped and then headed over to Paradise for morning flower shots.Mount Rainier Naches Loop WildflowersMount Rainier Naches Loop WildflowersMount Rainier Naches Loop Wildflowers and RainierMount Adams AlpenglowMount Rainier Naches Loop Wildflowers

My Friday the 13th Adventure – Rainier Icy Cloudscape Reflections

So I got back from going down to Rainier Friday night to see how the lakes were thawing.  Turns out they are amazing so I will be going back down next week early for some sunrise.  Highlights of the Friday the 13th trip:

– Leaving at 1pm wasn’t early enough – still bad traffic down 167

– Lots of people in the park

– I get to Reflection Lakes and they appear mostly frozen but a few thawed spots.  I hike out to one and get some nice shots.  I see this guy watching me and sure enough once I get back to the road he pounces with all these questions ie Is it safe? (maybe)  Did you get a reflection? (yes).  You can tell he’s been studying this situation for about an hour or more.

– I drive down to the Snow Lake trailhead and two guys are parked there happily smoking.  Turns out they are from the South.  Of course, who else smokes in the park?  🙂

– I hike out to the lake in my Sorels.  There is no trail but some faint bootprints.  I eventually find my way and the lake is gorgeous.  I stay til sunset and get some great shots. I wander over through the brush to this 1000 foot sheer drop and get some nice shots but kinda regret the risk.  I also manage to butt dial my sister which is surprising that I got cell reception and hearing her voice from my pocket was funny.

– I decide to hike back before its pitch black even though I have my headlamp.  My route goes straight up this steep hill but I find my way.  I punch through some snow and land in a creek but am still dry.  I find this steep trail down to the road and it works.

– Driving back down out of the park I run into these two kids hiking back in darkness.  The girl has made a crutch out of a stick since she sprained her ankle.  I gave them a ride to their car at Longmire.

– Driving past Alder at 60-ish mph, a deer wanders onto the road.  I manage to swerve and miss it.

– Driving through Spanaway and Parkland – what  a twilight zone of crushed dreams 🙂


whew…home at 1130




Mount Rainier Icy Cloudscape ReflectionMount Rainier Icy Cloudscape ReflectionDSC03264Mount Rainier Icy Cloudscape ReflectionMount Rainier Icy Cloudscape ReflectionMount Rainier Icy Cloudscape Reflection

Rainier and Meadows Full of Flowers

I went down a few days ago to the Paradise area of Mount Rainier to see how the flowers were coming along.  Well they are bursting at all elevations.  Being a lupine hound, I found plenty to get excited about.  I went down again last night, did more scouting and wandered around taking pictures this morning.  The light was done by 6am which is pretty amazing.  Sony a7r and Zeiss 16-35mm MikeReid Photography

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Heading up to Pinnacle Saddle for Sunset

I had heard that most of the snow was gone so I decided to head up to the Saddle to see.  Turns out there’s a bit still left but it should be gone in two weeks.  Flowers are starting to come on.  A bit of lupine and paintbrush around Paradise.  I packed an over night pack in case I decided to camp last night but didnt:

My overnight photography pack. REI Stoke 29 pack and
– sony a7r with Zeiss 50mm
– Zeiss 16-35mm
– Gitzo gt-0540 tripod, RRS clamp and BH25 head, remote, extra batteries
– Ten Essentials including Nitecore p10 800 lumens flashlight
– Pants, down jacket, pullover, extra socks, extra doorag
– One Black Diamond Ultra Mountain carbon pole for tent
– Two bottles of purple gatorade
– Bananas, pb/honey sandwich, powerbars, powergels
– Shires Tarptent Contrail and stakes
– MH Phantom 32 bag

Felt light, carried well and I didnt end up camping last night.

Rainier Sunset IMG_2493

Rainier Sunrise Fog Time Lapse Video

I’ve been working on these since watching how many people are absolutely mesmerized by the time lapses shown at the Sky View Observatory.  I use the Sony in camera app on my Sony a7r and a Zeiss MF 50mm lens.  For this one, I took 700 RAW images, processed them in Lightroom 5 and then made the time lapse in Photoshop CS6


Again in the Mount Rainier Saddle



Headed up this morning to Pinnacle Saddle with the promise of potentially cool sunrise skies. I went to bed (backseat of my car) with clear skies and got up around 5am and clouds were starting to move in. I started hiking around 530am and got to the Saddle by a little after 6. The sky was starting to come together with pinks and purples and I found the tarn for a nice Rainier reflection. At this point it had totally melted out which allowed for a panorama. The recent rains also gave a nice clear shot of Adams and Hood to the south. Hiked back down as the rain moved in around 745am.

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My Favorite Spot Amongst the Wildflower Meadows

Fire Mountain Panorama


Ventured down to my favorite part of the Paradise area – the Lakes Trail. Coated in premethrin and picaridin, I was determined not to be a feast for bugs. That worked out well actually. As I was hiking in, I could hear thunder and was definitely going against the tide of hikers leaving the area. I meandered along the trail for about two hours, meeting several other photographers and talking photography stuff.

Slept in the Paradise parking lot overnight.  A couple showed up about 11pm, intent on dancing in the moonlight to flamenco music on their car stereo.  This went on for an hour and fortunately they left.

The shower when I got home was Awesome!


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