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About The Sunday Oregonian. (Portland, Ore.) 1881-current | View Entire Issue (July 11, 1920)
Pages 1 to 10
Automobiles, Road Trips and
Northwest Highway News
PORTLAND, , OREGON, SUNDAY MORNING, JULY 11, 1920
MOUNT RAINIER NATIONAL PARK NOW IN ITS GRANDEST MOOD
Run From Portland to Park Made Easily in One Day via Pacific Highway and Onalaska-Morton Cut-off Route Through Mountains, Total Mileage 178.5, in a Chevrolet Baby Grand Car.
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visit it twice or
"BT L. IL GREGORY.
OUNT RAINIER National Park
ifferent. You may
a dozen times.
and no two of those times will It be
quite alike. Its beautiful forests, its
glaciers, its titanic chasms, its hills,
lt toirents, its alpine wild flowers
in profusion, its jagrped peaks, even
the white dome of Mount Rainier
ver the visitor sees them with new
and wondering- eyes.
But this is not to be-descriptive of
Mour.i Rainier National Park. You
will find its attractions catalogued
'n the cruide books, if you thirst for
printed description; the only way to
realize the wonders of the park is to
see them for yourself. This is rather
an account of how to get there and,
incidentally, a killing of two birds
with the one stone: including both an
account of how to reach Mount
Jlainier National Park from Portland
and of conditions on the Pacific high
way north from Portland as far as
Why do so few Oregonians visit
Mount Rainier rational Park? It
must be that they do not know how
to get there, that it never has been
brought home strongly enough to
them that from Portland to the park
entrance is only 178.6 miles under
present road conditions and that the
trip can be made in a day.- Most
drivers would prefer to take two days
to it, but by pressing forward from
an early start, it can be made easily
in one day.
Atmosphere Crystal Clear.
The writer made his third trip to
Mount Rainier National Park a week
ago to log road conditions en route
for the benefit of Oregonians desiring
to mane me iour. .ever was the park
more beautiful. The air was speck-
lessly clear, with not the slightest
haze. Mount Rainier glistening white
and blue against the sky. Every hill
and peak in the great park clear in
the crystal atmosphere. Mile on mile
of forest down the vast canyons.
Every plunging stream, every water
fall in dress parade under the bright
sun. And on the way up to Paradise
valley, 'alpine flowers pressing up
through the melting snow.
There were hundreds of cars In the
park that day, which was July 4. Bo
many that the usdal rules for travel
ing the one-way road above Nisqually
glacier could not be enforced, so that
cars were parked along the canyon
lor a mile below Narada falls, present
terminus of automobile travel until
the snow can be removed from the
four-mile stretch up to Paradise Inn.
Washington cars were almost be
yond counting. But there were
scores from California, many from
Idaho, some from Montana, even from
New York, Iowa, Indiana, Michigan
and other eastern states. Yet in all
that line, not half a dozen, seemingly,
from Oregon. Gasoline shortage ex
plains it only partly, for it was the
same last year and the year before.
It is the strangest of things that the
Oregon motorist has not yet, as a
body, discovered Mount Rainier Na
tional Park. Well, he has that much
in store for him.
All Aboard by Chevrolet.
This tour to the park was made in
a Chevrolet FB (baby grand) touring
car, sent by the fields Motor Car
company, Chevrolet distributors in
Portland, w"th Bill Grout at the helm.
W. F. Dallam, of San Francisco, more
often called "California" by his trip
mates, went along as passenger. It
was a great trip for California.
We left Portland at 9:30 o'clock
Saturday morning. July 3, and were
in the park at 8:10 that evening, 10
hours and 40 minutes all told. And
with just one exception, which was
memorable enough, all leisurely, safe
and snne driving. Of that exception,
more to come.
Motorists bound for Rainier, or for
Tacoma and Seattle, might just as
well save themselves the bother of
There are ft'vr mure brau...al places In this world than Rainier national park, which is vvlthln one day's run by automobile from Portland, only 1 TS..1 miles
by the shortest route. These views In the park were taken last Sunday, July 4. on a trip there in a Chevrolet Hahy lirand touring; ear. sent by the Fields
Motor Car company of Portland. The picture showst 1 Mount Rainier from the Silver Korcst, between Mlsnually Klacler rheekinic station and Narada
falls, present terminus of automobile travel, four miles by road from Paradise Inn. a Near Rlok.seofc.er Point, between Msqually Klacler and arada
falls. The canyon to the left drops a little matter of 20OO feet straight down that's all! :i Looking down the automobile road from half a mile above
Nisqually Klacler checking; station. The snout of the Klacler Is distinctly to be seen In the bnckeround, with the Nisqually river Issuins from Its
base. Behind and above the Klacler rises the lower slope of Mount Rainier. 4 Showing how thickly cars were parked on the road below arada
falls Sunday, July 4, when thousands of persons visited the park. There wasn't room for them at Narada, and the line of cars extended back nearly
a mile down the road. The jaeeed peaks of the Tatoonh range In the far background. Taking the delator from Narada falls up to I'aradlsr Inn.
6 Among the great trees of Kalnler national park. 7 Snow at Paradise Inn. reached by trail from Narada falls. Is still several feet deep. S 'Why
the road between Narada falls and Paradise Isn't yet open to automobile travel the snow ranges from two to ten feet deep. line of the courteous
rangers who handle -traffic through the park Ranger Ueorge Adair, In charge at Nisqually checking station, beyond which one-nay travel only
ferrying the Columbia river at Goble
and take the main Pacific highway
route to Kalama via Vancouver,
Wash. The Washington road, taken
all in all, is better now than the
Oregon road, with its execrable 12--mile
rough stretch between Scappoose
and Deer Island. There is -no place
between Vancouver and Kalama" that
can compare in roughness to that
There is one detour between Van
couver and Kalama, due to new pav
ing construction work on the highway
beyond 'Salmon Creek. But the re
markable thing about thit detour is
that it is actually better than the
main highway for which it substi
tutes. Detour Mostly Paved.
The detour leaves the highway just
beyond Salmon Creek, at mileage 16.3
from Portland, and goes around by
way of Ridgefield. The detour is an
even 15 miles long, bu of this 15 1 is a 40-mile mScadam road into Ka
miles, 10.7 miles is paved", and the i lama. .
other 4.3 miles is good macadam. This From Kalama to Kelso the road s
, . .. . I first class. But here the motorists
pavement on a detour road was one I . . . , ; t-h mai hirh.. i
of the pleasantest surprises it has
been our humble lot to meet in some
years of road touring.
The detour adds approximately six
miles to the distance to Kalama. It
rejoins the main highway at the
now closed for new construction work,
so it is necessary to detour left
across a bridge to the west side of
the Cowlitz river. Then turn right
and for 18.6 miles follow the detour
road where so many cars were stuck
point where, a couple of years ago, i ii the mud as late as Shriners' week
it was necessary to detour around i 'n I'ortiana,
toward La Center. From this point
tnere is now good gravel to La Cen
ter, then macadam only slightly rough
Between Woodland and Martin's
Still One Mudhole Left.
There has been dry weather almost
continuously since then, so this road
has dried up and is now passable
enouah. even gooa in places. oui
bluff, approximately five miles, used along one five-mile stretch of it to
to be the worst place on the whole ' the north of the Castle Rock bridge
Pacific highway to Seattle. This i.-i ho I it is rough and rutty. So much so that
no longer. The old gra:;e ' v- has 10 to 15 miles an hour is about the
been entirely eliminated .and l!io new I best speed to be made over it.
grade, well packed, is in excellent! Along here, and particularly in. the
condition. Beyond Martin's bluff there i vicinity of mileage 77.5 from Portland,
are still abundant evidences of the
miserable condition of this road in
wet weather. As late as last Saturday
there was one mudhoMe left. However,
the road to one side of it is now dry.
But one day's rain would put this road
in poor condition again and a three
day rain would make it almost impas
sable, a good point for motorists to
bear in mind. If you make the Seattle
trip this season and there is rain, or
rain in prospect, take along chains
for this stretch and be on the safe
That part of the detour on the west
side of the Cowlitz between Kelso and
the Castle Rock bridge was used last
year at times, motorists crossing back
to the main highway over the high
bridge at Castle Rock. This is not
done at present, owing to new con
struction work on the highway north
of Castle Rock. So, just at the west
end of the bridge, tourists should,
take the road to the left and continue
on their way up the west side.
Auto Club Signa Doctors.
It must be said for this detour that
there is no danger of getting off it,
due to the good work of the Automo
bile club of Western Washington,
which has large, unmistakable detour
signs at every fork or cross-road,
with arrows pointing the way to take.
This club, .also, at its own expense,
when Cowlitz county did not take
the initiative, sent a road crew down
there when conditions were at their
worst, and put the detour road in
There are many sharp, steep hills
and pitches On this detour road, but
no grade requiring more than second
gear. Steep enough, however. to
make it awkward for drivers of Ford
cars with less than four or five gal
lons in the tank.
On one hill, we passed a Ford sedan
being shoved laboriously to the sum
mit by six or seven persons. It had
only a gallon in the tank, due to
gasoline shortage along the Pacific
highway. Pretty tough luck.
At mileage 80.6 from Portland, the
detour road comes irito the main Ole
qua ferry - Vader - Winlock -Chehalis
road. Instead of turning right and
crossing back to the highway over
the Olequa ferry, turn left for Che
halis via Vader, Winlock and Napa
vine, as between Toledo and Chehalis
there is another patch of construc
tion work on the Pacific highway.
This Vader-Winlock-Napavine road is
excellent macadam all the way to
Chehalis, rejoining paved highway a
mile out of that town. Once on the
Vader road, the motorist's worries are
Three Routes to Rainier Park.
From Chehalis, the motorist bound
for Mount Rainier national park can
take his choice of three routes to
the park, as he will find by consult-
ing'the Automobile club of Western
Washington's obliging representative
at the St. Helens hotel, Mrs. June
The long route, but the one to take
if leisurely, pavement driving and a
two-day journey is desired, is that
by Pacific highway from Chehalis via
Centralia and Olympia to Tacoma.
and thence by the Tacoma-Mount
Rainier Park highway to the park.
This park highway is paved for 20
miles out of Tacoma, and on the
Pacific highway there is pavement all
the way from Olympia into Tacoma,
and for a few miles this side of
Olympia. More pavement is under
construction between Torino and
Olympia, necessitating a detour that
is good enough in dry weather.
From Chehalis to Tacoma via
Pacific highway is an even 60 miles.
From Tacoma to the Park entrance
is 57 miles, and from Portland to
Chehalis. counting present detours,
105 miles, making the total mileage
by this route 222 miles to the park
entrance. Longmire Springs is fi
miles further, Nisqually glacier 12
miles from the entrance. Narada Falls
16. and Paradise Inn 20 miles, a trrand
total to Paradise Inn of 242 miles via
The second route, which is some
what shorter than -.lie other, but with
little paved roao. is probably t,i5
TaVorite, all things onsideied. It
leads from Chehalis to Tenino. the.ice
i . . iConc.udtd on Page 7.),