Grove of the Patriarchs

Grove of the Patriarchs

Elev. Gain: 
65 ft.
High: 
2,047 ft.
Where:
Packwood, WA
Distance: 
1.25 miles (round trip)
Difficulty: 
Easy
Rating: 
3
Very easy hike leads to spectacular ancient trees on Mount Rainier.
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Features

Overview

Boasting one of the best trail names in all of Washington, the Grove of the Patriarchs is also a pretty darn good little hike. Located on the east side of Mount Rainier, this hike is short, easy and offers a wonderful glimpse into a world of living giants rarely seen anymore. 

The Grove of the Patriarchs is a majestic grouping of old-growth trees located on a small island caused by a braid in the Ohanapecosh River. Supposedly, this thin ribbon of water has helped protect the (mostly) fir, hemlock, and cedar trees from fires and other disasters, resulting in some of the oldest and biggest trees in the northern Cascades. 

Begin at the trailhead (next to the toilets) on a relatively wide and flat trail that leads to a bridge crossing over the Ohanapecosh River at 0.4 mile. This suspension bridge is a fun traverse for all ages, but be mindful of the one-at-a-time usage rule. 

Upon arriving on the island, the trail becomes a wooden boardwalk that loops for a quarter-mile through the trees and showcases some of the most dramatic firs and cedars in The Grove. We especially enjoyed the 1,000-year-old twin douglas firs and the nearby (15' wide) western red cedar. After taking in the sights, return to the parking lot by recrossing the bridge and walking out the same way you walked in. 

Permits & Tips

Admission to Mount Rainier National Park required. Toilets available at trailhead. Watch your speed while driving in and around the park. Camping and Interpretive Center located at nearby Ohanapecosh campground, just a couple miles south on Highway123. Please note that this area of the park is typically CLOSED from October–May. Check road status here.

>>Google Directions

How to get there

The Grove of the Patriarchs is located on the east side of Mount Rainier.
Drive to the Stevens Canyon entrance off of Highway 123, pass through the fee station and proceed west for 0.30 mile on Stevens Canyon Road to the parking lot and trailhead, clearly signed on the north (right) side of the road.
The parking lot only holds about 25 cars and RVs, so plan on arriving early or visiting on a weekday.