Scenic USA - Washington

Each day Scenic USA presents a new and interesting photo feature from somewhere in the United States. Chosen from a wide variety
of historic sites, city scenes, backcountry byways, points of interest and America's best parklands, this site offers the viewer hundreds
of unique vacation destinations and photographic subjects. Each feature is coupled with a brief explanation. For further detailed
information, links to other sites are provided, but are never to be considered an endorsement.



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Mount Rainier Park -
Developed Areas

Plan Your Visit - NPS




Grove of the Patriarchs

Grove of the Patriarchs - Mount Rainier National Park, Washington

Photos by Ben Prepelka

     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 pair 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 was 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!

   See Ohanapecosh Directions


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