Finally I made it to Spray Park and actually saw something! Everytime I make the drive down there it's cloudy. Nice to see what I've been missing. Also forgot how crowded the place is - especially this weekend with free entrance to Rainier.
Parked way back on the road and walked to the ranger cabin, then up to Knapsack Pass. Some nice flowers and a great waterfall back there. Trail up to Knapsack was pretty decent too. Turned left and followed a boot path up to Castle Peak (EDIT: I think it was actually Mother Mountain). It looks intimidating from a distance but once you get there it's a simple walk-up.
Dropped back to Knapsack and since it wasn't too hot went over to FayPeak. I lost the boot path partway and traversed level on the loose hillside, which was tedious and slow. Got cliffed out on the false summit but then found I had to backtrack, drop down on the other side of the ridge to skirt the cliffs, then up to Fay. Stayed on the boot path the whole way out and it was much easier. Ran into a few climbers up there and saw a group making a direct assault up some snow fields and rock slabs. I heard a lot of "rock!rock!rock!" as they went.
Descended over Knapsack and worked over to Spray Park. Great views down into Mist Park here. Caught the real trail here and slowly wandered through the park, smelling lupine everywhere. I couldn't have hiked fast if I wanted to either; so many people! I think I had to step aside very 20 ft to let some people go up trail. Lots of lupine, paintbrush, and even some avalanche lilies holding on.
Made a side trip to Spray Falls and climbed up right to the base of them and stood underneath, getting soaked by the cool mist. What other humongous waterfalls can one stand under and not be crushed by falling water? Great on a hot day.
Quick hike out and then a long, dusty drive out. My silver car is now brown. Note: do not drive this road after just washing your car.
No problems. The talus down from Knapsack is pretty much all melted, except for a few short sections that could be completely avoided. There is a larger snow field climbing up into Spray Park but easy going.
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