Scenic USA - Washington

Grove of the Patriarchs

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Grove of the Patriarchs - Mount Rainier National Park, Washington

Photos by Ben Prepelka
Scenic USA Artist Website

   One of the most popular hikes in Mount Rainier National Park leads visitors through a rare kingdom of ancient trees. To enter the Grove of the Patriarchs, a short trail leads out to an island surrounded by the Ohanapecosh River. Twin Douglas Firs - Grove of the Patriarchs Snow free from June through October, the grove of old growth Douglas fir, western red cedars and western hemlocks are typical trees of a montane forest. The Douglas fir is one of the most abundant trees here, with some of the ancient trees reaching heights of 250 feet. Named for David Douglas, a Scottish botanist, some of these giants are 1000 years old. Ranked among the greatest botanical explorations of the 19th century, Douglas walked and canoed over 6000 miles in search of new plants and trees of the Pacific Northwest.
   Two of the exceptional features of this old growth forest are a set of twins. Although the centers of these Douglas fir twins (inset) are rotten and one of the crowns is dead, the outer 10 inches of Ohanapecosh Swinging River Bridge - Grove of the Patriarchs their trunks and a small amount of foliage keep these 1000 year old trees alive.
   Surrounded by water, this isolated river island of giants were protected from fire. Crossing over the river on a suspension bridge, park guests may witness some of the oldest western red cedars and Douglas-firs in the world with trunk circumferences over 25 feet. One giant measures a humbling 35 feet around the trunk!

    Area Map


Nearby Points of Interest

  • Reflection Lakes
  • Box Canyon
  • Silver Falls Trail
  • Narada Falls
  • Paradise Center
  • Paradise River
  • Lower Christine Falls
  • Sunrise Center
  • Mount Rainier Trails
  • Mount Rainier Scenic RR

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        Copyright © 2012-17 Benjamin Prepelka
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