Carbon Rain Forest
Tuesday, July 24, 2007: I was a bit late getting away from Ashford. It was still cloudy, so I didn't go into the park again. It was clearing a bit as I drove along the west side. I found a good stopping point and took a couple of photos of Rainier. Clouds were still in the way some, but at least you can see the top.
I worked my way into the Carbon River area. It took quite a while to get there. I arrived around 10:30. The road is closed at the entrance, but you can walk in. The Carbon Nature Trail, which shows off the Carbon rainforest, was open. It's a nice little trail and gave me a last taste of the temperate rainforest on this trip, which is why I was here rather than Mowich Lake Road. (Not enough time for both.)
The most interesting bird on the trail was a young Varied Thrush. Again, no sapsuckers. There is a good but unmarked trail on the back side. I followed that uphill for a while and then turned back. I later asked the ranger about it. He said it was a boundary trail between Mt. Rainier NP and Mt. Baker-Snoqualmie NF. It's not marked on the NGS/Trail's Illustrated map.
After leaving Carbon, the only practical way north is to take the I-405 through the Seattle area. Eventually, I crossed the Skagit River and turned on the Cascade Highway (SR-20). I tried to do a little birding on the way to Marblemount, but didn't see much. After checking in to the motel, I headed out the Cascade Highway. The Newhalen visitors center was just barely closed when I got there. I took a quick look around, including some photos of the Picket Range and headed further east. I noticed a Snowshoe Hare on the way out.
The Skagit has been dammed in three places to provide power for Seattle. The first lake is Gorge Lake, and I stopped a couple of places to take pictures, including the Gorge Creek Overlook, where there is a waterfall. By then it was after 6, so I returned to Marblemount for dinner.
Buffalo Run Inn, Marblemount, WA