We arrived early to clear skies and cool temps - parking on Sunrise Road across from the Owyhigh Lakes trail head (we decided it would be best to start with the run up the road, and finish coming out of the woods with the car right in front of us).
The run up Summerland was amazing - we were up on Summerland a few weeks earlier and there was much less snow, and we still had a lot of wild flower bloom to take in. Clear skies, light winds and perfect temperatures. We met a lot of hikers and runners during the morning, and all along the Wonderland trail.
Descending from Summerland was tough on the old quads, with all the log steps and occasionally challenging with the narrow deep cut trail sections - we came across a lot of cool people taking in a late summer gem in MRNP.
Eventually we made the turn to Cowlitz Divide Trail - this was a new trail for me - forested rolling single track - super fun to run; there were a few washed out sections that required quick feet but this was a nice change, and quiet.
Cowlitz Divide winds down near the bottom of Highway 123 to a left turn on the Eastside Trail (passing by Grove of the Patriarchs). Lets just say this is a popular section of MRNP - throngs of people on the trail and long queues of people on both sides of the Patriarchs loop suspension bridge waiting to get across.
I've biked up Chinook Pass many times on 123 - it was cool making my way up on foot for a change.
The ascent continued to a junction with the Owyhigh Lakes Trail. Lightly traveled, with a notable switchback climb to get you to the top (it was getting warm and I was feeling it - Chris on the other hand was pulling away). This is a phenomenal trail - old growth forest single track takes you to Owyhigh Lake - the view is worth the effort; the lake is situated on a plateau surrounded by peaks. After taking in the lake view, it's runnable (and I know it's also walkable) trail back to Sunrise road.
If you're looking for an amazing day in MRNP on trails with spectacular views, this is your loop.
Details from my Suunto: http://www.movescount.com/moves/move178205569