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In 5 mi is your first full shot of Mount Rainier while crossing a boulder field across a clearing. Trees become sparser as wildflowers become grander with paintbrush, bear grass, and lupine 5 mi up the steeper trail at times to the first of many great views of Mount Rainier looming above Packwood Lake below. Be careful along sections of the trail with huge drop-offs even though the route is Class 1 (minus the summit). At around 4 mi from the THs you round a corner to suddenly see Johnson Peak towering above the ridge and the steep green and rocky hillside with the trail visible up to a little saddle on the ridge crest. Move down steeper then up to the ridge with a large rock fin and pinnacle blocking easier travel on the ridge in that direction (NW toward Mount Rainier).

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Paintbrush, lupine, and others dazzle before even reaching Lily Basin with Mount Rainier as a fitting backdrop over Packwood Lake.

Cross the saddle to the right (S) side of the ridge again briefly as Trail 86 cuts under Johnson Peak traversing through the very steep and colorful Lily Basin ahead. Descend to another little ridge saddle before the 1V-mi traverse to the SW ridge saddle intersection/viewpoint. Move S across the vibrant wildflower-covered oasis under the W slopes of Johnson Peak without much difficulty (unless snow/ice remain). After 5 mi of the traverse, including a few tiny water crossings and a decent little rocky creek crossing in a steep meadow (between some of the last pines), is a steeper rocky ravine to cross. There are cascades above the narrow ravine with a smaller off-chute to the left from the main trail. Be very cautious down, across, then up; and fortunately it’s not as problematic as it appears at first. In 5 mi is an easier rocky creek bed to pass and the last chance for water if you are hiking to the summit. The wildflower spectacle that blankets these slopes in August during peak season rivals those of any in all of Goat Rocks Wilderness!.

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