We took an early morning hike down to Sunrise Lake today, a steep downhill walk from the switchback viewpoint just downhill from Sunrise. This might just be the most stunning approach anywhere in Mount Rainier National Park. After the last switchback, it's a straight shot directly into the side of the mountain (or so it seems).
DW hiked this trail decades ago with friends, hiking past the Palisades and camping overnight in a meadow full of springs (and during the night, full of elk and wolves chasing the elk, a long and humourous story that I never tire of hearing). But today, we didn't go farther than the first lake.
I've been leery of this hike for years, because downhill all the way to the lake also means an uphill climb to get back out. But it really wasn't bad. There's just a bit of snow left on the trail, and on the hills that ring the lake. We had the trail to ourselves, found our earthcache, took a lot of photographs of the amazing reflections, and decided to walk clear around the lake before heading up.
From above, the lake is deep green. Down at the lake shore, it's a vivid blue that rivals the sky.