Clearwater Wilderness

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Clearwater Wilderness
IUCN category Ib (wilderness area)
Map showing the location of Clearwater Wilderness
Map showing the location of Clearwater Wilderness
Location Pierce County, Washington, USA
Nearest city Buckley, WA
Coordinates 47°03′28″N 121°49′27″W / 47.05778°N 121.82417°W / 47.05778; -121.82417Coordinates: 47°03′28″N 121°49′27″W / 47.05778°N 121.82417°W / 47.05778; -121.82417
Area 14,192 acres (57.44 km²)
Established 1984
Governing body U.S. Forest Service
Mount Rainier, Cascade Range, Washington

Clearwater Wilderness, a small 14,300-acre (5,800 ha) wilderness created by Congress in 1984 under the 1964 Wilderness Act establishing the National Wilderness Preservation System. It is located in northeast Pierce County, southeast of Tacoma in the South Cascade Range in Washington, United States. Its southern border is Mount Rainier National Park, and it affords many spectacular views of Mount Rainier.[1]

Description[edit]

Bearhead Mountain, the highest peak, is 6,089 feet (1,856 m) high. Below are the headwaters of the north-flowing Clearwater River. Old-growth forests of Douglas-fir, Western Hemlock and Western Red Cedar, reachable by hiking trails, are nourished by many streams and eight small lakes, including Summit Lake. Forest understorey is made up mostly of ferns and moss. The rainy season between October and May receives 90 percent of the annual rainfall, which can be as much as 25 feet (7.6 m), while snow can remain as late as July in high areas.[2]

Cascades wildlife typically includes bears, deer, squirrels, skunks, raccoons, marmots, and a few herds of elk.

Trails[edit]

  • Summit Lake trail is an easy 2.5-mile-long (4,000 m) hike (5 miles (8.0 km) round trip) up 1,500 feet (460 m) to a blue Summit Lake where to the south there are wonderful views of Mount Rainier.[3]
  • Clearwater Trail is an 6 miles (9.7 km) 2,000-foot (610 m) descent to the peaceful Clearwater River. The trail continues to Lily Creek and climbs to a small lake, Cedar Lake, ringed by forest.[4]
  • Summit Lake and Bearhead Mountain trail is a moderate 9 miles (14 km) hike 2,000 feet (610 m) up to the highest point in the wilderness area, offering wonderful views of Mount Rainier from a meadow filled with wildflowers.[5]
  • Carbon Trail meanders south for 9.4 miles (15.1 km) to join the Summit Lake Trail.

The National Wilderness Preservation System website provides a list of things to consider when planning a trip to a wilderness.[6]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ "Clearwater Wilderness". Nature of the Northwest. Retrieved 2006-10-21. 
  2. ^ "Clearwater Wilderness". National Wilderness Preservation System. Retrieved 2006-10-21. 
  3. ^ "Summit Lake". Hiker Bob Trail Guides. Retrieved 2006-10-21. 
  4. ^ "Clearwater River". Hiker Bob Trail Guides. Retrieved 2006-10-21. 
  5. ^ "Summit Lake and Bearhead Mountain". Hiker Bob Trail Guides. Retrieved 2006-10-21. 
  6. ^ "Things to Consider When Planning a Trip to Wilderness". The National Wilderness Preservation System. Retrieved 2006-10-21. 

External links[edit]