Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Mud Mountain Dam - Rim Trail and River Trail - 8 miles round trip

When the forecast says it's going to be in the 80's, it's time to take some time off.

I decided to walk the Rim Trail at Mud Mountain Dam. It is located about 5 miles from the city of Enumclaw, and the road is well marked. After turning onto the road, the park is about 2 1/2 miles down. I parked in the first obvious parking lot, which is also used by folks visiting the play area.

The trail starts right next to the playground and follows a chain link fence before heading into the forest. Some have said that the trail is hard to find, so I took a picture to show where I parked, and where the trail starts. There is a sign posted at the beginning of the trail, but it is not large.
Start of the Rim Trail
The trail is easy to follow and has relatively few ups and downs. In several areas it passes through some boggy spots, but there is a board walk to keep your feet out of the ooze.

Board walk through marshy spots
At one spot, the trail passes an out house, cause you never know when your are going to have to go!

Outhouse at about one mile
Soon the trail gets close to the bluff, and there are several warning signs that it is not safe to approach the edge. Of course, everyone does just to see how steep it really is. It is steep.

Stay back from the edge so you don't become a projectile heading towards the river 400 feet below.

Ignoring he warning sign, here is what it looks like near the edge. It's further than it looks in this picture.
There are fences along the way to remind hikers to stay on the trail. Another neat feature is that there are mile markers every half mile. Here is the one at mile 1 1/2.

Mile marker 1.5
Eventually the Rim Trail meets up with the River Trail at about the two mile mark. The Rim Trail appears to continue, but I decided to take the River Trail.

Junction of the Rim Trail and River Trail
The River Trail follows a gravel road that quickly drops the 500 feet to the White River. There were beautiful vistas!

River Trail nears the river. Beautiful views upriver.

The White River - lots of snow melting today.

Another view of the White River
 By following the trail across the meadow and through the woods, I eventually arrived at Grandmother's house.... no not really, it was Scatter Creek. I stopped to take off my boots and socks and soak my hot and tired feet in the cool water. What a relief. Had a snack, drank a liter of water, and then headed back to the car.
Scatter Creek
The scenery was just as good heading back. I guess this area is called "Mud Mountain Lake" because of the activities that take place during flooding. There are a number of what appear to be "pontoons", which are all linked together. From what I understand, these are set out across the river to catch logs and drifting debris and keep it from piling up at the dam downstream. It would be interesting to see them during a flood.

Heading back towards the dam on the River Trail. The green grass is really small horsetail plans - millions of them!

Pontoon used to capture drifting logs during times of flooding
I noticed that I could see the top of Mount Rainier at the 1 1/2 mile marker!
Mount Rainier peaks over the hills in the distance.
I put on the gas heading back, because I parked inside the gate. There are numerous signs warning that the park starts to close at 3:30 PM and the gate is locked at 4. Anyone inside has to wait until morning to get out. I made good time and arrived at my car at 2:20. I estimate that I walked about 8 miles round trip. This is a good conditioning hike because the climb up from the river.

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