Temperatures started in the mid-70’s, peaked at 91, and finished in the mid 80’s. The Northwest’s heat wave I referred to in recent posts continues.
Distance: 310 miles
Time to complete: 8 hrs with lunch stop
Stevens Canyon Road and Paradise Road East are very scenic and at times twisty with switchbacks and hairpin turns.
Both are inside the fee area of Mt. Rainier National Park. I used my Interagency Annual Pass :).
Stevens Canyon Road is mostly in great shape with much of it resurfaced recently as part of a multi-year two-phase project. Paradise Road is still undergoing some phase-one construction, involving the burying of utilities under the existing road surface. Watch for a wide slash of gravel covering freshly buried pipes and know that most of the piping is being buried on the east-traveling side of the road. There will likely be numerous delays where the road is effectively a single lane because of the construction.
After leaving Rainier, I continued to Morton for lunch. I stopped at The Bean Tree for a sandwich and had the best iced latte I’ve had in a while. Really smooth and flavorful espresso!
Usually I try to do avoid backtracking over the same roads on my day trips, but I did backtrack over some of Hwy 123 and Hwy 410, but they were better roads and traveled through better scenery than other options.
All in all, a fun day.