Enumclaw, Washington

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If you’re in the Seattle/Tacoma area, and you want to get to Mount Rainier’s east side (Sunrise), there’s just one way to go: Washington Route 410.  And as you head towards the big mountain, the town of Enumclaw provides the last signs of civilization, before plunging into the wilderness.

Enumclaw provides a nice stretch of downtown businesses, including a few good antique stores, that make a brief stop pleasant and worthwhile.

Enumclaw’s easy-to-misspell name comes from the Salish Native American language.  Translated, it means either “place of evil spirits” (according to one source) or “thundering noise” (the more pleasant definition, touted by the city’s website).  Either way, the name probably refers to something that occurred on Enumclaw Mountain, north of town, in the distant past. 

The old Enumclaw National Bank is one of the town’s most noticeable downtown buildings, standing watch over Griffin Avenue and Cole Street — the center of town.  If you’re following WA-164 from the Auburn area, you’ll pass through here.  Just a few blocks later, 164 runs into 410 for the trip around to the east side of the mountain.

Drivelapse Video

Here’s the time-lapse, dash-cam video of the drive from I-5 at Fife to Enumclaw…

… and from Enumclaw to the entrance of Mount Rainier National Park:

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