Grove of the Patriarchs Trail
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Absolutely stunning trail. Arguably one of the best hikes in the PNW, see for yourself :-)
Easy trail with suspension bridge and old growth forest. Typically only open late May through early October
Grove of the Patriarchs closed to all public entry until further notice. Grove of the Patriarchs is closed to all public entry effective November 2021, and until further notice, due to significant damage from flooding. On the east side of Mt. Rainier, drive to the Stevens Canyon entrance on Highway 123. Proceed about 1/4 of a mile on the Stevens Canyon Road across the Ohanapecosh River bridge to the trailhead parking area on the right, elevation about 2,200 ft. The parking lot, which accommodates about two dozen cars, generally is full during the summer. The trail goes upstream through a stand of old, tall, exquisite red cedars, erect like guards, protecting what lies ahead. The path leads to a crossing of the Ohanapecosh River on a suspension bridge at just less than 1/2 of a mile. Go over the bridge in single file, following directions on a sign suggesting one person at a time. Upon crossing the bridge, you reach the island. After passing through smaller trees, the path forks. Go either way. It’s a loop. Signs identify plants and describe features of this habitat. Isolated on the island, these regal giants have been protected from fire, thus, allowing them to grow to enormous size. So, in this small area, you have many trees that are more than 25 ft in circumference, at least one approaching 50 ft, and some over 1,000 years old. One thing is clear. This is a sacred place. A place to be humble. These ancient Douglas firs, western hemlocks, and western red cedars deserve respect and reverence. After all, by human measure, many of these on the island were on earth when the Normans conquered England in the 11th century. Walk, don’t run, and show proper esteem. Take your time walking through this island paradise. You don’t have to worry about being voted off this island. The survivors are REALLY the massive trees that have literally stood the test of time. They’re timeless warriors. Admire them; take pictures of your family by them. Have someone take pictures of you by the trees and cherish the memory of your visit. Dogs are not allowed on the trails at Mount Rainier National Park. This is a great trail to walk with kids but it isn’t stroller friendly. It isn’t paved, there are tree roots in some sections of the travel and there’s a wooden suspension bridge to cross. This would be best experienced with young walkers or while “wearing babies” in a backpack or carrier. There are a few benches at the halfway point on the path, but to get to the seating you’ll need to cross a wooden suspension bridge which may be problematic. Additionally, while there are no significant elevation changes on this path it isn’t always level. There are some sections of the path impacted by tree roots that can result in an uneven surface. There are also some sections of the path that dip up and down causing inclines and declines. There is no published weight limit per person for the suspension bridge at Grove of the Patriarchs. The only restriction in place is the sign at the bridge that asks one person to go across the bridge at a time. As long as you follow that guideline, one pedestrian at a time you should be okay. The Grove of the Patriarchs is an “out-and-back” trail. It’s approximately a mile and a half in distance round-trip. From the trailhead to the farthest point it’s approximately .75 tenths of a mile from the trailhead to the farthest point of the trail.
Grove of the Patriarchs closed to all public entry until further notice. Grove of the Patriarchs is closed to all public entry effective November 2021, and until further notice, due to significant damage from flooding. On the east side of Mt. Rainier, drive to the Stevens Canyon entrance on Highwa…