HIKING COUGAR ROCK/CARTER FALLS TRAIL Mt. Rainier National Park, Washington

Hiking Team: Dave Miller, Rosie Miller

Date: July 4, 2022

One of our favorite hikes on the trip. The 3.5-mile hike began with a 100-yard trek across slippery large and small boulders coming to the very fast moving Nisqually River. A large 30-foot-long bridge made from one large tree with a railing on the downstream side only crossed the raging river. I was proud of Rosie as she was scared and said this was the most challenging water crossing she had ever traversed. She said she felt like a female Indiana Jones. The tree was wet and very slippery. One mistake and you would fall and be carried downstream.

Once safely across, the trail was flat at first before ascending 500 feet. The forest trees ages varied from very young to very old, with some less than a century old and other more than 700 years old. In the lower section, lichen and moss-covered rocks and trees. The trail was slippery in places and the elevation gain wore me out as I was carrying a heavy knapsack. Parallel to the trail on the right was the Paradise River and 5,900-foot Eagle Peak. We finally reached beautiful 50-foot-tall Carter Falls and fifty yards further up cascading down was 34-foot Madcap Falls. On the way down Rosie talked to another hiker named Venee from India now working in Seattle.

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