Berkeley Park

If you love wild flowers, go to Berkeley Park now!

To get there –

Start from the Sunrise Visitor Center

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climbing a set of stairs, with Mount Rainier on your left.

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Once you are high up on the ridgeline, pause for a second and take in the view of the Huckleberry Valley below.

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Then follow signs on your left to Sourdough Ridge Trail.

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You will be overlooking the Sunrise Valley.

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By now, you would have seen some wild flowers, such as Fan Leaf Cinquefoils

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Sitka Valerians

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Pink Mountain Heathers (left) Spreading Phloxes (right)

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Lupines (left) Scarlet Paintbrushs (right)

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and Pink Purple Penstemons.

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About a mile into the hike, you stumble upon a small lake to your right.

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Frozen Lake it is called – supplying drinking water to the Sunrise area.

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Past the lake, continue straight ahead onto Wonderland Trail.

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which meanders about

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and you are exposed to more blooms

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such as Magenta Paintbrush

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and Pasqueflower Seedhead

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which I mistook for bear grass.

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Half a mile later, you come to yet another junction.

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The Wonderland trail continues to your left, but you proceed straight on, descending into a valley of spectacular color displays.

You can stop here and take as many photos as you like.

But keep on going, the best is yet to come!

Soon you reach a tumbling creek – the sight of glacial water is extra refreshing on a hot day.

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The trail veer to your right and there you see it!

The best wildflower display in six years! – according to park ranger.

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This time, instead of admiring it from afar, you are in the middle of it all!

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It’s a multi-sensory experience: the color – this intensity, you’ve never seen anything like it!

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The touch, as it brushes and nudges you when you pass…

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Releasing the fragrance of vanilla and honey – apparently the bees like it too! (The flower, by the way, is Subalpine Daisy)

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This is Elephant’s Head

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This – a Dwarf Lupine

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I have yet to identify its name of this one.

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But this one is undoubtedly – the Bear Grass!

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It is easy to see why this area is called Berkeley Park – it resembles a well-maintained landscaped park.

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You may proceed to the campsite – a Backcountry and Wilderness Permit is required to stay there overnight – or turn around, knowing that you’ve seen the best of all and head back to Sunrise.

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Note:

Berkeley Park is 7.2 miles loop trail in the Mount Rainier National Park. Regarding the elevation gain, wta shows 900 ft, alltrails 1699 ft and National Park Service 1200 ft. So take your pick.

Arrive early for the best opportunity to find parking space. We got there around 10AM on a Sunday and cliched one of the few spots left.

The trail is well exposed. Dress for sun & wind protection and bring plenty of water.

There is no formal bathroom on the trail, not even a honey bucket. You will be delighted to see a sign pointing to a “toilet” once you reach the Berkeley Camp, but soon you will realize that it is not what you think.

Bring your camera and be prepared to take A LOT OF photos!!! I left mine at home, and still took more than 500 photos with my phone.

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33 thoughts on “Berkeley Park

  1. What beautiful walking country and the profusion of wild flowers is such a bonus. Reminds me so much of Switzerland but the flowers although profuse are not quite as good as these. The numbers on the direction signs are I presume distances in miles. I’m so used to seeing the Swiss signs that measure walks in hours of walking.
    Superb photography too.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. These photos and the flowers and stunning!
    I don’t know the names for anything so this is SUCH a helpful post! 🙂

    I need to come south of the boarder and explore one day!

    Liked by 1 person

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