Decided to go up to the Carbon River area of Mt. Rainier for some snowshoeing since we got a late start and didn't want to drive to Longmire area. Ended up leaving the snowshoes in the car and just dawned our hiking boots.
The road up to the Carbon River gate is snow free currently and good for any car. When we got there at 8, there were four spots left in the small parking lot of about either cars.
With the partial Government Shutdown I was surprised to see the bathrooms were currently open. Out of respect of knowing they are not being cleaned I used my own TP from my car.
About three quarters of a mile there starts to be some snow on the old road, but it's not that bad at all. My partner and I were surprised to see four deer, out of respect for them we stopped our walk as they grazed on some grass still free of snow. They spotted us a few times but didn't seem concerned about us.
The road is is good shape to walk on, and it's nice to actually walk next to your hiking partner and have a conversation while being able to look off into the woods.
We got to Green Lake trailhead (three miles from the parking lot) and the snow was on ground, but not bad enough to pose a problem to us. We didn't need traction yet. We decided to turn around and head back to the care at about four miles. The rain was starting to pick up and we did not have rain gear with us, we had our snow pants but did not want to put those on with how warm it was. We heard from a couple that did head up to Green Lake that there is one tree down across the trail right now.
We got back to the trail head and enjoyed some lunch before hitting the road. We were both surprised at how respectful people were trying to find a spot to park. The parking lot was full instead of destroying the park and parking wherever the wanted (like what is happening at other National Parks right now). Everyone we saw respected the no parking signed, turned around in the little turn around spot and parked on the side of the road next to the river, which is running high for this time of year.
With the partial shutdown if you have trash remember to take it with you, follow Leave no Trace, pack it in pack it out right now. We all own the parks and should take care of them as if they were our own yards.
All in all it was a great day for a long hike in some pretty decently warm December weather.
Until next time- HappyTrails