Here's a short, sweet little loop in the southeast corner of Mount Rainier National Park. Interpretive signs illuminate the past, when visitors flocked here to take advantage of the warm water that was believed to have healing properties. You can't soak in the springs anymore (and they're certainly not large enough to want to), but the rushing waters of the nearby Ohanapecosh River, and the history here make this a great visit for a leg stretch or a hike with little ones.
The name Ohanapecosh comes from the name of a Native American village that once existed along the river. The Taidnapum Indians lived in the Cowlitz Valley, indeed, their name means "Upper Cowltiz". The word Ohanapecosh is believed to mean "standing at the edge".
And that's right where you start your hike, at the northeast end of campground Loop B, next to campsite B-2, on a riverbank, right above the Ohanapecosh River. Proceed into the forest on nice wide tread, following the signs for about 0.1 miles, where the Ohanapecosh Hot Springs Trail veers off to the right.
Continue through deep forest, climb gradually to an overlook of the Ohanapecosh River as it crashes down in a tumbling, vivid-white cataract. The trail begins to switchback down to a bridge over the river, which offers impressive perspective on the waterfall and the river rolling out beneath you.
Past the bridge, turn left, and follow the trail through grand, open forest with a mossy carpet as it first parallels the river, then turns away from it, wending down through the trees for 1.5 miles from the bridge to the amphitheater at Ohanapecosh. Turn onto the road and hoof it back to the parking area, and the start of your hike.