April 29, 2011 12:00 AM

Hike of the week: Paul Peak Trail to Mowich River

Hike description: The Paul Peak Trail is scorned by some as a "reverse hike." That is, the trail goes down on the way in and up on the way out. For those with a summit orientation, this makes no sense. But if your goal is to find a nice destination, whether up or down, this is a great trail. The trail goes through some of Mount Rainier’s wonderful old-growth forest and takes you to a lunch spot by the North Mowich River. And, if your knees/feet/legs don't enjoy going downhill, this hike has you doing that part of the hike at the start of the day when your body is fresh. After lunch by the river, with the opportunity to soak your feet in cold water, you are ready for the uphill trek out.

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