I am very behind on my posting. I went snowshoeing up at Mount Rainier with my favorite meetup at the beginning of January. It was a cold, snowy day but we powered through it. There was no reflection or mountain sighting on this day.
You can find more information about this trail on the WTA website www.wta.org/go-hiking/hikes/reflection-and-louise-lakes-snowshoe. Our group only went to Reflection lake we did not go to Louise Lakes. I believe our trip was about 3-4 miles. Somehow it felt like more.
To get to this trail, Go to the Longmire/Paradise entrance of Rainier, the parking is at the Narada Falls Trailhead. You will need a National Parks Pass to get into the park. In the winter, the parks service also requires all cars (even AWD/FWD vehicles) to carry chains. Also, the max group size on Rainier is 12 people. If you have a larger group, split into smaller group sizes. The rangers on this particular day were nice enough not to give us a ticket. With the conditions it was better for us to stick together.
Per the WTA website regarding avalanche danger, “From the Narada Falls parking lot, your aim is to attain the Stevens Canyon Road atop the steep hill. Many people climb this slope, but it is prone to avalanches and WTA highly recommends this alternate route. Go past the warming hut and restrooms to find the trail that loops left through forest up to the road.
The risk of avalanche on the route that heads toward Inspiration Point (right on the road) is often high. To stay on the safe side, take the avalanche-free route to Reflection Lake (to the left) – a sign is there to guide you. This route is a bit more strenuous but the overall distance and elevation gain are about the same.” We followed this safer route it was well-marked with signs and trail markers.
This trail was pretty steep in parts going up for a snowshoe it definitely got the heart pumping. Did I mention it was very cold on the day we went out? It was 20 Degrees with wind-chill in the teens. It was okay as long as you were moving. There were some spots with gusty winds that were definitely bone-chilling. I loved all of the snow-shapes on trail I captured some better than others with my camera.
Eventually you go over the ridge down to the lake where on a clear day you can see Mount Rainier. We had no view the day we went out.