Trip Date: June 18th thru June 19th, 2021
Out for an overnight solo camping trip this weekend with my dog Emma in the National Forest. We started off by heading south down the east side of Mount Rainier National Park, heading up and over White Pass towards Rimrock Lake on Hwy 12. Past the lake we turned north to head up into an area of the Mount Baker Snoqualmie National Forest that we had not visited before. Initially we went up the gravel forest roads to the Bethel Ridge area, stopping to take in the views from the observation point and then strolling around the communication towers at the top of the mountain. With the elevation being above 6000 feet, we had some great views of Rimrock Lake and Mount Adams to the south, and Mount Rainier to the west. There were quite a few potential camping spots up on the ridge, but it was early in the day so we continued on.
Exploring the forest roads back behind Bethel Ridge was quite enjoyable on this hot early summer day. The wildflowers were especially nice in the higher elevation Prairies and forest clearings. We made our way north to the area around Timberwolf Mountain, venturing down various branch forest roads spread through the forest. Eventually we cam upon a nice secluded road spur with a wide spot at the end which made for a perfect dispersed campsite. The site was quite secluded being deep in the forest, with the William O. Douglas Wilderness not much further up the mountain from where we setup camp. There ample green grass to setup the tent, and a small forest stream flowed behind the camp, making for an excellent ambiance.
The next morning Emma and I packed up camp and continued our way north, exploring deeper into the forest. We continued to explore various branch roads, not looking for anything in particular, just enjoying a slow drive through the forest. We saw very little other traffic and only came across one other group camping in the forest this weekend. We traveled north up Devils Canyon where we came across a large herd of Elk in a forest prairie, consisting of at least 30 full grown adults and a handful of very young ones. Our exit point back onto the highway today was via the Logger Canyon, following downstream along the Rattlesnake Creek. The canyon formed by the Rattlesnake Creek was quite impressive, with bare rock canyon walls exposed on the north side of the river, and an excellent forest road snaking along above the valley floor.