Sunday, September 3rd, 2017

Hiking: Indian Bar Trail

Ron Swarner

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Chatter Vulture hiking the Indian Bar Trail at Mount Rainier

A little motivation, encouragement or camaraderie goes a long way when it comes to getting out and finding adventure. Them Vultures, a group of hiking buddies, are motivated by beer. OK, that’s not fair. The gentlemen are avid hikers who happen to wear Peaks and Pints shirts and drink beer once they loosen the laces at the predetermined peak.

Peaks and Pints receives after-action reports from Them Vultures with photographs of trail scenery and, of course, a Peaks and Pints shirt-wearing shot. Chatter Vulture of Them Vultures has submitted a report. Yes, the hiking buddies have individual Vulture names. It hasn’t been determined if Chatter Vulture was forced to hike solo due to reasons name.

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Chatter hiked the 14-mile round trip to Indian Bar, a section of the Wonderland Trail along miles of ridge, through subalpine meadows, with views of the southeast side of Mount Rainier. Chatter hiked north on the Wonderland Trail through the forest past Nickel Creek Camp, where switchbacks to him to Cowlitz Divide for 360-degree views. The turnaround opens to a broad green valley into which pour a dozen waterfalls. He then descended steeply into Indian Bar, on the Ohanapecosh River, where a shelter will sleep 16 at 5,120 feet after topping off at 5,950 along the trail.

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The Indian Bar hike rates “very strenuous” with 3,700 feet of elevation gain on the way in and 800 feet of elevation gain on the way out.

BE LIKE A VULTURE: Drive the Stevens Canyon Road west 10 miles from the Stevens Canyon Entrance to Mount Rainier National Park, or east 11 miles from the Longmire-Paradise road, to the parking lot at Box Canyon (elevation 3050 feet). Find the signed gravel trail directly across the highway from the parking area. Do not take the paved nature trail by mistake.

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