This little stopover off the road that encircles Mount Rainier is a wonderful, short leg-stretcher with gorgeous views of the dramatic canyon of the Muddy Fork of the Cowlitz River, and a short hike to a box canyon — an unusual feature in this park.
From the small parking area off the Stevens Canyon Road, walk to a lookout over a gorge with a river pounding below it. This is the Muddy Fork of the Cowlitz River; not particularly muddy here, but plenty dramatic.
This short jaunt might leave you wanting to see more. If that's the case, turn around and head across the highway. A paved path in front of you leads to a bridge in less than half a mile. Cross the bridge, stopping to admire the river crashing through the box canyon below.
Across the bridge, turn left, and head back a short ways to the highway. Cross it, and turn left, walking a short distance to return to where you started.