Need a break from all the trees and curves on Stevens Canyon Road? A stop at Box Canyon gives you a chance to stretch your legs and hike a half-mile loop trail. You also may gain a new appreciation for the power of glaciers.
Box Canyon Trail loops north from the road, providing a great view of Mount Rainier in the distance. The trail passes over glaciated terrain (the exposed rock was polished by a passing glacier, many years ago). Then, the trail makes a left…
… and crosses a bridge, which takes you over a deep slot-canyon. The Muddy Fork of the Cowlitz River is directly below, but the only way to see it is to look straight down.
After looking both directions from the bridge, keep hiking up the trail, which makes another left, and takes you back to the highway.
You’ll close the loop by crossing the same bridge that carries the road over the river. A small plaque tells you that the slot is 180 feet deep.
The Wonderland Trail passes over this tunnel, then meets up with the trail you just hiked — before continuing east, then north, as it loops around Mount Rainier. So if anyone asks, you can tell them you hiked the Wonderland Trail (just not the entire 93 miles of it).