On our second trip to Rainier, we had the afternoon for an easy hike in mind for the beautiful afternoon we had. So we chose Bench and Snow Lakes trail, a relatively easy 2 mile hike back to some amazing, crystal clear and freezing cold lakes!
The hike starts uphill (with stairs). Man, I hate stairs...As soon as you clear the first patch of forest you can turn around to the amazing view of Mount Rainier. Plus, the added bonus of Bear Grass in the meadow.
Bench lake was pretty, but Snow lake was gorgeous! It had the snowy mountains along side it and the water was so clear and blue. So wonderful!
You get to a point on this trail where the maintenance ends. It's not that bad afterwards, just a bit more climbing over rocks.
Wandering a little more down the (unmaintained) trail means you're rewarded with a nice little waterfall and no people. At least not while we were there. As we left, of course, a sizeable group was heading to where we had been hanging out.
Andrew filled up our filter bag with deliciously cold water and we sprawled out on a flat rock and chilled. Hermit thrushes were singing in the woods, you could hear the waterfall in the distance and nothing else except our breathing. It's those moments I love when we go hiking. It's not the trudging to the destination. It is those in-between moments where we stop and absorb the world around us.
And this was a wonderful place to have an in-between moment.
If you are in Rainier and are looking for a hike that relatively easy (lots of stairs like I said), this is a good idea. Go find the in-between!