September 16, 2006

Nickel Creek Camp, MRNP

I went back to Rainier again this weekend, but this time hiking was on my mind. I've been spending too much time on the road and in the car, and not nearly enough hitting the trail. The forecast was for overcast skies in the morning, so I'd hoped to get in a short hike before the clouds cleared. I had several in mind in and around the east side of the park, but by the time I got there the clouds had already cleared. Closer to the mountain proved better so I decided on a hike I'd wanted to do several years but never seemed to find the time.

Nickel Creek (Snapshot) Nickel Creek is one of my favorite in the park, and where it crosses Stevens Canyon Road is extremely photogenic. In fact, what I consider one of my best photos is of Nickel Creek just upstream from the road. I wanted to know if it was as photogenic farther upstream as it was at the road crossing. The Wonderland Trail leaves Box Canyon and crosses Nickel Creek at a campsite called Nickel Creek Camp, about a mile upstream, so I decided to finally do this hike. It's a relatively flat hike, but I'm in terrible shape and have been sick recently, so I took my time and enjoyed the forest along the trail. Unfortunately, the creek is very wide and flat at Nickel Creek Camp, so it wasn't as photogenic there as it is downstream. I ate lunch there in solitude and took some snapshots, but coudn't help be a little disappointed.

Footbridge Over Paradise River Most of the rest of the day was pretty sunny, but by sunset the clouds had rolled in again, so I spent time around the Paradise River, scouting for river photos. I followed the Narada Falls Trail from Stevens Canyon Road, upstream from the waterfall I'd shot a few times recently, and crossed over on the Paradise Lakes Trail to where it crossed the river. The footbridge made for a decent photo of the river, but the hanging dead limb in the background is distracting. Unfortuantely, it's securely attached and not removable, so a shot without it is impossible.

Sunbreak Over Nisqually Valley On the way home, the sun broke through the clouds as I drove by the Inspiration Point Viewpoint and I stopped for a few photos. Unfortunately, these didnt come out as well as I'd hoped and don't really do the scene justice. I've always found it difficult to compose photos from that viewpoint for some reason.

Another photo of the river:

Cascade on Paradise River

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