Enumclaw By Transit: Because I Could?

In all fairness, Enumclaw is more than just a place at the end of a transit line. The little town sits roughly halfway between Bellevue and Mount Rainier’s Sunrise visitor’s center, the last settlement of any consequence along the way. I have long been interested in seeing how Enumclaw might serve as a stopover during a future summer trip to “The Mountain”…

Three Metro bus routes currently serve Enumclaw on weekdays (there is no Sunday service):

149 – Renton (Mon-Fri, no weekend service)
186 – Auburn (Mon-Fri, limited Saturday service)
912 – Covington (Mon-Fri, no weekend service)

Connecting service to Kent is also available Mon-Fri using either the 149 or 912 bus: (a) from the 149 transfer to 168 at SE Kent Kangley Rd; (b) from the 912 transfer to 168 at Covington. As always, I recommend using Sound Transit’s trip planner to figure out your itinerary before you start your trip. This is particularly important given Enumclaw’s isolated location and limited bus service.

I traveled to Enumclaw last Thursday on the 149 from Renton and returned on the connecting service to Kent via Covington. On arrival in Enumclaw, I got off the bus at the Griffin & Wells stop across from city hall.

Although Enumclaw has a small business district centered on Griffin Avenue and Cole Street, after exploring on foot, I would not consider the town to be a destination in its own right. But as a stopover, I believe it will serve well.

Within a block or two of Griffin/Cole there are several places to eat. Enumclaw does not have a brewpub so I Yelped and chose the Rainier Bar & Grill on Cole. While I have nothing to compare it to it met my expectations based on the generally positive Yelp reviews.

The beer selection was pretty decent: 12 taps, mostly microbrews. Directly across the street from the Rainier is the Mint – with 28 taps. However the Mint is not family-friendly: no under-21s allowed. The Rainier Bar & Grill does not have this limitation.

While I wandered around exploring I took a few photos. Not much to see really. There’s city hall, the Logging Legacy memorial in front of the public library, and the ominous bulk of Mt Rainier looming so much closer than I’d seen it before.

Actually that’s the one thing that surprised me. Viewed from Bellevue, Rainier is almost 60 miles away. The surrounding Cascade peaks do not obstruct the view as much. However from Enumclaw the Cascade peaks rise up right outside of town obscuring the view of Rainier’s lower slopes. My photos are posted at Facebook. Here’s the link.

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