Both Mount Rainier and Mount Hood have wonderful trails that circle the mountain. Typically, I have hiked these trails clockwise. One of the reasons is the Tibetan belief that you should walk around holy sites (stupas or mountains) in a clockwise fashion. Counter-clockwise is said to "unwind your karma". Well, if it works for them, why not?
Mt. Hood and Mt. Rainier are similar geologically (shield volcanoes), and thanks to prevailing rains from the west, are similar geographically. Both mountains, on the west side, are cut with significant river canyons. On the east, thanks to the rain shadow, both mountains still have most of their shield intact. And the north and south sides have both canyons and shield portions. These mountains are huge, but are simple in their basic structure. And it is really great to walk through!
- A lovely trail
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