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Hiking Mt. Rainier and Mt. St. Helens

Program Number: 9688RJ
Start and End Dates:
9/14/2014 - 9/20/2014; 7/26/2015 - 8/1/2015; 8/9/2015 - 8/15/2015;
Duration: 6 nights
Location: Packwood, Washington
Price starting at: $999.00 - Price may vary based on date, departure city
Program Type: Walking/Hiking; National Parks Activity Level: t (see description)
Meals: 17; 6 Breakfasts, 5 Lunches, 6 Dinners    
Meal Options: Low Fat; Low Salt    

Experience an active hiking adventure that will take you on hikes to flower-covered alpine meadows, old-growth forests, waterfalls, beautiful mountain overlooks and spectacular Mount St. Helens, where you can peer into the crater left from the 1980 volcanic eruption. Throughout each day, learn some of this area's history, geology, flora and fauna.




Highlights

• Hiking around Naches Peak provides outstanding views of Mount Rainier, carpets of wildflowers and a fascinating walk through a majestic old-growth forest.
• At Paradise on Mount Rainier’s south side, hike through wildflower meadows on the flanks of the mountain and enjoy dinner at Paradise Inn.
• Explore historic Longmire Springs on the west side of Mount Rainier and hike to several of the waterfalls in the park, and experience Sunrise on the east side for close-up views of the mountain’s glaciers.



Activity Particulars

Hikes of 3-7 miles a day with elevations changes of 500-1,600 feet. Hiking elevations of 5,600-7,400 feet.



Coordinated by NW Discoveries.




Packwood

Known as the gateway to the three impressive volcanoes, Packwood is encircled by Mount St. Helen’s, Mount Rainier and Mount Adams in this glacial valley of the Cascade Mountains, a popular region for hiking and geological exploration.



Accommodations
Comfortable motel with fireplace in mountain town of Packwood.
Meals and Lodgings
   Cowlitz River Lodge
  Packwood, WA 6 nights
 Cowlitz River Lodge
Type: Motel
  Description: Recently renovated motel within walking distance of stores and restaurants. Elk are frequently seen grazing around the parking lot.
  Contact info: P.O. Box 488
13069 U.S. Hwy 12
Packwood, WA 98361 USA
phone: 888-305-2185 xtollfree
web: www.destinationpackwood.com
  Room amenities: Rooms have telephones, TV, air conditioning.
  Facility amenities: Has laundry facilities available.
  Smoking allowed: No
  Additional nights prior: $55-$85 + tax Contact Cowlitz River Lodge to make your reservations. Mention you will be attending the Road Scholar program. Packwood tourist information: toll free 1-800-963-7898. www.destinationpackwood.com
  Check in time: 3:00 PM
  Additional nights after: $55-$85 + tax Contact Cowlitz River Lodge to make your reservations. Mention you will be attending the Road Scholar program. Packwood tourist information: toll free 1-800-963-7898. www.destinationpackwood.com
  Check out time: 10:00 AM


Travel Details
  Start of Program:
Check in 3:00-5:30 PM You will be staying at Cowlitz River Lodge that night.
  End of Program:
Program ends at 8:00 AM after breakfast You will be staying at Cowlitz River Lodge the night before.
  Required documents:
The Road Scholar Health & Safety Form is required. Liability Release Waivers are required to be signed for participation in this program.
  Parking availability:
Parking is available at lodge for free.
Transportation
To Start of Program
  Location:  Packwood, WA
  Nearest city or town:  Packwood
  Nearest highway: Hwy 12
  Nearest airport:  Halfway between Portland and Seattle.
  From End of Program
  Location: Packwood, WA
    (Additional transportation information same as above)
Travel Details
 

Portland, OR

 

From Airport

 
 

Service:

 

Commercial Van/Shuttle
Road Scholar provider
phone: 503-524-9192
Advanced Reservations Required

 

Per Person/One Way:

 

$40
Prices are subject to change.

 

Travel Time:

 

3 hours 

 

Distance:

 

140 miles

   

One time airport shuttle to lodge by provider, NW Discoveries (cell 503-524-9192). Pickup: 2:00 PM Sunday Portland Airport-PDX; (flight arrive by 1:30 PM). Meet on sidewalk, ground-lower level, outside of baggage claim next to terminal building with “Alaska” sign on wall. Where vehicles exit terminal. 15 passenger van will arrive and pickup at 2 pm due to parking restrictions. Reserve your seat: mark “Yes” on the shuttle section of “Provider (NW Discoveries) info. form” attachment.

 

Packwood motel

 

To Airport

 
 

Service:

 

Commercial Van/Shuttle
Road Scholar provider
phone: 503-524-9192
Advanced Reservations Required

 

Per Person/One Way:

 

$40.
Prices are subject to change.

 

Travel Time:

 

3 hours 

 

Distance:

 

140 miles

   

On last program day, the shuttle will arrive PDX 10 am. Flight should depart after 11:30 am.

 
Driving Directions
  Directions For GPS We recommend you put the lodging address into your GPS or vehicle navigation system or use the internet mapping websites: (ensure the mapping directions are similar to our provided instructions) http://maps.google.com/ then click on Get directions, then input your starting destination and ending destination = lodging address provided. or www.mapquest.com; then click on Get Directions, then input your starting destination and ending destination = lodging address provided. Cowlitz River Lodge P.O. Box 488 13069 U.S. Hwy 12 Packwood , WA 98361 888-305-2185 toll free You can also visit the lodging website or call the lodging for additional directions.
  I-5 between Portand and Seattle Take exit # 68 off I-5 onto Highway 12 east for 64 miles to Packwood. Cowlitz River Lodge is on left side after you go through Packwood.
Elevation Note: 4 days above 3000 ( Day 1: 5600 ft, Day 2: 7100 ft., Day 3: 4200 ft., Day 4: 7400 ft.)

Equipment Requirements: Well broken in hiking boots or shoes, day pack/fanny pack, hiking gear and rain gear are recommended to fully enjoy this program.
The prices listed for commercial services and facilities that are not included in the program cost, such as airport shuttles or extra nights lodging, are subject to change without notice. Since Road Scholar cannot guarantee the accuracy of these prices, we strongly suggest contacting the companies directly for the most up-to-date information.


Daily Schedule

Day 1: Relax in quiet Packwood with Mt. Rainier looming over the horizon. Meet new friends and learn about the week ahead.
(Sunday, September 14)
   
 Arrive To: Check in between 3:00 - 5:30 PM at Cowlitz River Lodge.
 Afternoon: 5:45 PM Group socializing activities - Meet your fellow Road Scholars.
 Dinner: Dinner at 6:30 PM at a local eatery.
 Evening: Program orientation and introductions/discussion until 9:00 PM
   
Accommodations: Cowlitz River Lodge
Meals Included: Dinner

Day 2: Hike around Naches Peak with outstanding views of Mt. Rainier and carpets of wildflowers. Walk through a majestic Old Growth forest.
(Monday, September 15)

Note: Hikes are on well maintained trails.



   
 Breakfast: Breakfast at 7:15 AM
 Morning: Hike the Naches Peak loop with beautiful views of Tipsoo lake and Mt. Rainier. 4.5 miles RT, 700 ft. elevation gain.
 Lunch: Sack lunch on the trail.
 Afternoon: Hike to Grove of Patriarchs, a beautiful, large-Old Growth forest with trees a thousand years old. 1.25 mile, 50 ft. elevation gain.
 Dinner: Dinner at local eatery.
 Evening: Evening presentation on Natural History will end by 9:00 pm.
   
Accommodations: Cowlitz River Lodge
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 3: Hike at Paradise with Mt. Rainier looming over you while all around you are meadows.
(Tuesday, September 16)

Note: Skyline trail is well maintained. Some rocks to step over and gravel in sections. Optional shorter hike to Glacier vista is on a nice trail.



   
 Breakfast: Breakfast available at 7:15 AM
 Morning: From Paradise, on the south side of Mt. Rainier, cross sweetly scented meadows and wander among snow patches and the rubble of ancient glaciers. Marmots shrill their warning calls as you descend moss bordered rivulets. Short hike to Glacier Vista, 2.4 mile RT, 900 ft. elevation gain or Skyline trail loop via Panoramic viewpoint, 5.5 miles 1700 ft. elevation gain.
 Lunch: Sack lunch on the trail.
 Afternoon: Finish hike at Paradise on the Skyline trail.
 Dinner: Dinner at Paradise Lodge.
 Evening: No program this evening since we drive back from the restaurant to our lodging in Packwood.
   
Accommodations: Cowlitz River Lodge
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 4: Visit Mt. St. Helens, walk through the blast zone, look into the crater and see the tree rafts floating in Spirit lake.
(Wednesday, September 17)

Note: Windy ridge overlook up stairs. Optional Harmony Falls trail takes you to the edge of Spirit lake.



   
 Breakfast: Breakfast at 7:15 AM.
 Morning: Visit Meta Lake and Miners Car to see the destructive effects of the 1980 eruption and to learn how some animals and insects survived it. 0.4 miles, 20 ft. elevation gain. Hike Smith Creek trailhead to Windy Ridge for a view of Spirit Lake. Thousands of trees torn from the hillside by the eruption and megatsunami still float on the lake's surface. 1.5 miles, 300 ft. elevation gain.
 Lunch: Sack lunch on the trail.
 Afternoon: Continue hiking at Mt. St. Helens. This is the only hike that allows you to touch the waters of Spirit Lake. Harmony Falls was a beautiful high cascade until massive mudflows dammed the outlet of Spirit Lake and reduced the fall's height by half. 2.2 miles, 700 ft. elevation gain.
 Dinner: Dinner at 6:30 PM.
 Evening: Evening program on local history or geology will end by 9:00 PM.
   
Accommodations: Cowlitz River Lodge
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 5: Explore historic Longmire springs on the westside of Mt. Rainier, Hike to several of the waterfalls in the park.
(Thursday, September 18)

Note: Narada Falls hike is downhill on a well maintained trail.



   
 Breakfast: Breakfast at 7:15 AM.
 Morning: Sleep in for an extra hour before driving to Longmire for our waterfall hikes. Narada Falls spills over a wall of basalt into a small pool, then veils 159' in a lacy display that can stretch to a width of 75' - complete with rainbows! Shuttle one way: 4.5 miles, 2,044’ elevation loss or short hike, 3.5 miles, 1800’ elevation loss.
 Lunch: Sack lunch on trail.
 Afternoon: Walk Trail of Shadows and learn about the area's human history. Wander through old forests, wet meadows, and the mineral springs that Longmire became known for. 0.75 mile, 55’ elevation gain on very nice trail.
 Dinner: Dinner at a restaurant
 Evening: No program this evening since we drive back from the restaurant to our lodging in Packwood.
   
Accommodations: Cowlitz River Lodge
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 6: Visit the dry east side of Mt. Rainier for up close views.
(Friday, September 19)

Note: Hike is on a well maintained trail.



   
 Breakfast: Breakfast at 7:15 AM.
 Morning: Hike the eastside of Mt. Rainier from Sunrise to Frozen Lake. Once, we reach Frozen lake (1.4 miles, ~600 ft. from visitor center), we will have several hike options with varying distances depending on trail conditions. If you continue hiking to First Burroughs Mtn. you will enjoy superb mountain views as you walk through some of the finest, most accessible tundra in the Cascades. 5 miles, 800 ft. elevation gain.
 Lunch: Sack lunch on the trail.
 Afternoon: Continue hiking Burroughs Mtn. See Emmons Glacier, largest in the contiguous United States. Optional add on hike to Second Burroughs Mtn. 1.2 miles RT and 400 ft. elevation gain.
 Dinner: Provided by the local community at 6 PM .
 Evening: Share stories, photos and experiences from the week during a closing program that ends by 9:00 pm.
   
Accommodations: Cowlitz River Lodge
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 7: Memories of beautiful scenery and new friends.
(Saturday, September 20)

Note: No activity scheduled as people pack up for their departure after breakfast.



   
 Breakfast: Breakfast will be available at 7:00 AM
 Morning: Program ends at 7:30 AM with everyone checking out by 10:00 AM.
   
Meals Included: Breakfast
Important information about your itinerary: Every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy and completeness of the information featured on this website. Itineraries are based on our best information at this time. Circumstances beyond our control may require us to adjust itineraries or other details. We regret any inconvenience this may cause and appreciate your understanding. Information will be sent to you from your Program Provider approximately three weeks prior to the program start date. The prices listed for commercial services and facilities that are not included in the program cost, such as airport shuttles or extra nights lodging, are subject to change without notice. Since Road Scholar cannot guarantee the accuracy of these prices, we strongly suggest contacting the companies directly for the most up-to-date information.

Suggested Reading List


A Guide to the Indian Tribes of the Pacific Northwest


Author: Robert Ruby, John Brown, Cary Collins


Description: The Native peoples of the Pacific Northwest inhabit a vast region extending from the Rocky Mountains to the Pacific Ocean and from California to British Columbia. For more than two decades, A Guide to the Indian Tribes of the Pacific Northwest has served as a standard reference on these diverse peoples. Now, in the wake of renewed tribal self-determination, this revised edition reflects the many recent political, economic, and cultural developments shaping these Native communities. From such well-known tribes as the Nez Perces and Cayuses to lesser-known bands previously presumed extinct, this guide offers detailed descriptions, in alphabetical order, of 150 Pacific Northwest tribes. Each entry provides information on the history, location, demographics, and cultural traditions of the particular tribe. Among the new features offered here are an expanded selection of photographs, updated reading lists, and a revised pronunciation guide. While continuing to provide succinct histories of each tribe, the volume now also covers such contemporary and sometimes controversial issues as Indian gaming and NAGPRA. With its emphasis on Native voices and tribal revitalization, this new edition of the Guide to the Indian Tribes of the Pacific Northwest is certain to be a definitive reference for many years to come.



Eden Seekers-The Settlement of Oregon 1818-1862


Author: Malcolm Clark, Jr


Description: Good summary of Oregon’s history between 1818-1862.



Mount St. Helens: The Eruption and Recovery of a Volcano


Author: Rob Carson


Description: Author Rob Carson’s essays, accompanied by incredible photos, outline the events leading up to and following the eruption, with a special look at the 20-year process of the mountains rebirth.



Myths and Legends of the Pacific Northwest


Author: Katharine Berry Judson


Description: Presented here with 52 photographs, these traditional stories, first collected in 1910, reveal myths and traditions of creation, the salmon and noted geographical features of the territory.



National Audubon Society Field Guide to the Pacific Northwest


Author: Peter Alden


Description: Filled with concise descriptions and stunning photographs, the National Audubon Society Field Guide to the Pacific Northwest belongs in the home of every Pacific Northwest resident and in the suitcase or backpack of every visitor. This compact volume contains: An easy-to-use field guide for identifying 1,000 of the region's wildflowers, trees, mushrooms, mosses, fishes, amphibians, reptiles, birds, butterflies, mammals, and much more; A complete overview of the Pacific Northwest's natural history, covering geology, wildlife habitats, ecology, fossils, rocks and minerals, clouds and weather patterns and night sky; An extensive sampling of the area's best parks, preserves, beaches, forests, islands, and wildlife sanctuaries, with detailed descriptions and visitor information for 50 sites and notes on dozens of others. The guide is packed with visual information -- the 1,500 full-color images include more than 1,300 photographs, 14 maps, and 16 night-sky charts, as well as 150 drawings explaining everything from geological processes to the basic features of different plants and animals.



Northwest Exposures-A Geologic Story of the Northwest


Author: David Alt and Donald W. Hyndman


Description: Northwest Exposures chronicles the events that shaped the region's rock and landforms through the ages. The tale of the Northwest's geology began more than two billion years ago when an ancient continent split, creating oceanfront property in what is now western Idaho. Pacific islands mashed into that coastline, making large parts of Washington and Oregon. These events were followed by monstrous volcanic eruptions, catastrophic ice age floods, and mountains rising to an accompaniment of earthquakes.



Plants of the Pacific Northwest Coast-Washington, Oregon, British Columbia & Alaska


Author: Pojar and MacKinnon


Description: This easy-to-use field guide features 794 species of plants commonly found along the Pacific coast from Oregon to Alaska, including trees, shrubs, wildflowers, aquatic plants, grasses, ferns, mosses and lichens. PLANTS OF THE PACIFIC NORTHWEST COAST covers the coastal region from shoreline to alpine, including the western Cascades. Includes: * 1100 color photographs * More than 1000 line drawings and silhouettes * Clear species descriptions and keys to groups * Descriptions of each plant's habitat and range * 794 new color range maps. Rich and engaging notes on each species describe aboriginal and other local uses of plants for food, medicine and implements, along with unique characteristics of the plants and the origins of their names. For both amateurs and professionals, this is the best, most accessible, most up-to-date guide of its kind.



Salmon without Rivers-A history of the Pacific Salmon Crisis


Author: Jim Lichatowich


Description: Easy to read book on Salmon, and hatcheries.



Sunrise to Paradise: The Story of Mount Rainier National Park


Author: Ruth Kirk


Description: On clear days, the mammoth volcano Mount Rainier dominates the Seattle Tacoma skylines and can be seen from Whidbey Island to Yakima and the central Washington wheat fields. "The Mountain's out!" is a cheerful local greeting, especially after a long spell of overcast weather. Sunrise to Paradise explores the rich history of this symbol of the Pacific Northwest and the national park that preserves it.





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