I've been wanting to get here for some time. A couple of years ago I dayhiked as far as Devils Garden. The goal this trip was to camp there and dayhike to Avalanche Canyon, on the east side. I hiked up the Muddy Meadows Trail to Devils Garden, carrying 3 quarts of water the 7.5 miles and 3200 feet up, since there is none there. A very high camp at 7600 feet (just below the actual Devils Garden area).
Although the forecast was for sunny weather by the afternoon, the skies were monotone gray, but it was dry. Here is Muddy Meadows near the trailhead. There was only a little mud.
Typical trail scenery
Passing by the Foggy Flats area
After about 5 miles in the forest, you suddenly leave the forest and enter volcanic terrain, basins where two creeks come down from the Lava and Lyman Glaciers. It was still very cloudy.
A particularly dark lava flow as you finally leave the rocky basin
Finally it started to clear and I thought the clouds were departing
Full clearing as I climb above 7000 feet towards Devils Garden
However as it turned out, the clouds didn't leave, I climbed above them. Mt. Rainier in the distance.
Although I had planned to get to the high point of the trail at 7700 feet and then go up a bit into the Gardens. It was getting late and with a breeze and cold temps, I wanted to make sure I had a spot with some shelter, and I preferred to set up camp with the sun still out. So I found a very nice spot a bit lower, a quarter mile below the high point. Because of the lack of water, there are no established sites, but at 7600 feet, it is not hard to find a flat sandy space.
And what a way to wake up in the morning