Box Canyon Overlook

Mount Rainier National Park

Mount Rainier Area, Washington

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Box Canyon Overlook

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  • Mount Rainier (14,411') from the Box Canyon Overlook.- Box Canyon Overlook
  • Box Canyon from south overlook area.- Box Canyon Overlook
  • Muddy Fork of the Cowlitz River canyon viewed from Stevens Canyon Road.- Box Canyon Overlook
  • Box Canyon Overlook.- Box Canyon Overlook
  • Little Tahoma Peak (11,138') from the Box Canyon Overlook.- Box Canyon Overlook
  • Mount Rainier (14,411') from the Box Canyon Overlook.- Box Canyon Overlook
  • Box Canyon from the 0.3 mile interpretive loop trail.- Box Canyon Overlook
  • Box Canyon from the 0.3 mile interpretive loop trail.- Box Canyon Overlook
  • Pedestrian bridge over Box Canyon.- Box Canyon Overlook
  • The 0.3 mile Box Canyon interpretive loop trail.- Box Canyon Overlook
  • Box Canyon's south overlook area.- Box Canyon Overlook
Overview + Weather
Pros: 
180-foot deep narrow chasm. Interpretive signage.
Cons: 
Paved trail is poorly maintained.
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Region:
Mount Rainier Area, WA
Congestion: 
High
Pets allowed: 
No
Parking Pass: 
National Park Pass
Preferable Season(s):
Summer, Fall
Current Local Weather:
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Adventure Description

Adventure Description

Team

From its origin at the Cowlitz Glacier, the Muddy Fork of the Cowlitz River rips down from Mount Rainier's southeastern slopes. Hundreds of thousands of years of flow has culminated in the creation of the Box Canyon, a 180-foot deep, 13-foot wide chasm through the stratovolcano's andosite bedrock.

From Stevens Canyon Road, visitors can easily pull over and get a quick glimpse of geological spectacle or jump onto a short, 0.4-mile loop that crosses over the canyon. While on this short walk, note the hard granite bedrock on the slopes adjacent to the trail and the scars and scratches that appear on the mostly smooth surface. Previous glaciation smoothed the bedrock, and debris stuck in the ice also scarred the rock over time as the glacier receded and advanced.

Interestingly, the Muddy Fork of the Cowlitz River and the Ohanapecosh River are the only two water catchments from Mount Rainier that don't eventually flow into the Puget Sound. Both rivers (eventually the Cowlitz River, as they combine) are tributaries of the Columbia River

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(23 within a 30 mile radius)

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(62 within a 30 mile radius)

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