Day 2: Devil’s Dream to South Puyallup River
Elevation gain: 1,800 feet
Elevation loss: 2,800 feet
Distance: 6.6 miles + 1 mile at camp down to the Puyallup River
We decided to get out of camp early to escape the mosquitoes, so as soon as the sun rose we packed up and left, eating breakfast on the trail. The trail soon left the woods out onto Indian Henry’s hunting ground which was blanketed with purple and white wildflowers. There was also a picturesque patrol cabin in the meadow where we saw quail eating on the path. We then crossed a few small creeks and arrived at Tahoma Creek where we crossed over the highest and longest extension bridge in the park. There were great views of South Tahoma Glacier and possibly of the mountain if it hadn’t been cloudy. Then we hiked up above the tree line where the ground was spotted with boulders and soaring grass hoppers. Along the boulder strewn hills we heard and saw several marmots (can you find the one in the photos above?). Up high, it was colder, windier, and more desolate, but when you are used to the typical forests of Washington, this is what you like to see while hiking. The Emerald Ridge offered great views of the glacier below the clouds and the waterfalls coming off of the mountain. On the trail we were also treated again to handfuls of juicy salmon berries and huckleberries. We arrived at the South Puyallup Camp around 2 pm, which had four sites plus one group site. The water source was a small and slow moving creek which wasn’t ideal for washing and filling up water containers. The sites are in the trees but are a bit more spread out for better privacy. This site had a bench, table and clothesline which was helpful in food preparation and drying out our clothes. The toilet is located 500 feet down a side trail behind a boulder. And, if you continue on past the toilet, there are huge palisades coming down the rock wall. Some have toppled down over the years looking like a forgotten, collapsed fortress in the woods. We continued down this path for about a mile and shimmied down a dirt wall to drop down to the Puyallup River. It was mostly dried up, so we were able to walk over the boulders soaking in the sun and washing our feet in the water before heading back up to camp and to bed.
To read more of about our preparation for the Wonderland Trail click below:
To read more about each day’s journey on the Wonderland trail click below: