Mount Rainier National Park, Washington


Mt Rainier National Park in Washington state, USA is known for its iconic glacier-capped Mt Rainier. Mt Rainier also known as Tahoma/Tacoma is a large active stratovolcano and is the tallest mountain range in the Cascade Range. The park mesmerizes with its beautiful landscape, breathtaking views of valleys, scenic lakes, waterfalls, wildflowers, as well as marked hiking trails. Really a Paradise!!!

These photos are from a day trip to Mt Rainier National park in late August 2013.

  • Mount Rainier National Park
  • Mount Rainier National Park
  • Mount Rainier National Park
  • Mount Rainier National Park
  • Mount Rainier National Park
  • Mount Rainier National Park
  • Mount Rainier National Park
  • Mount Rainier National Park
  • Mount Rainier National Park
  • Mount Rainier National Park
  • Mount Rainier National Park
  • Mount Rainier National Park
  • Mount Rainier National Park
  • Nisqually Vista Trail, Paradise, Mount Rainier National Park
  • Mount Rainier National Park
  • Mount Rainier National Park
  • Mount Rainier National Park
  • Mount Rainier National Park
  • Mount Rainier National Park
  • Mount Rainier National Park
  • Mount Rainier National Park

Quick Facts and Tips

  • Best Time to Visit
    • Summer Months: July to August when wildflowers blooming
    • Spring and Fall Months: Pleasant, but most park roads will be closed
  • Fly into
    • Seattle-Tacoma International Airport, Washington USA
  • Clothing
    • Comfortable pants, hiking shorts, t-shirts, tank tops, Capri, sweatshirts, comfortable walking/hiking shoes, and rain gears. It will be cooler in Spring and Fall, so dress in layers
  • How Many Days
    • Main Attractions: 1-2 days
    • Hiking/Camping: 3-5 Days
  • What to expect
    • The iconic glacier-capped Mt Rainier, Mountain Ridges, Glacier, Wildflower, Waterfalls, Green Valleys, Clear Lakes, Wildlife
  • Be sure to check the Park Website for alters on road closure and current trail conditions
  • Entrance Fee: $30 per vehicle or from $15 to $25 per person/motorcycle, good for seven days
  • Try to be there early in the morning for best lighting and more elbow room so that you can cover most of the park’s attractions
  • Start early in the morning as the parking lots fill up quickly by late morning during summer in Paradise and Sunrise area
  • Stay on marked trails and use only open trails to preserve the meadows ecosystem
  • Take food and water so you can spend the day touring with the few restaurants within the park
  • Weak/no cell phone signals, highly recommend to have maps downloaded or printed
  • There is lot to capture, so keep your camera ready. Make sure that camera is fully charged and also keep backup battery and memory cards
  • Places to Visit
    • Longmire Area (Christine Falls, Glacier Bridge, Ricksecker Point, Narada Falls)
    • Paradise Area (Myrte Falls, Skyline Trail, Alta Vista Trail, Nisqually Trail, Reflection Lake, Inspiration Point)
    • Sunrise Area (Tipsoo Lake, Sunrise Point, Sunrise)
  • Best things to do
    • Longmire Area: Longmire area is home for historic buildings and many scenic hiking trails. Relish driving east of Longmire through the Paradise Valley Road that opens up to excellent views of Nisqually Valley. Make sure to stop at the road side attractions Christine Falls, Glacier Bridge, Ricksecker Point, and Narada Falls. Drive 4 miles east of Longmire to reach Christine Falls pullout. A short stroll from the pullout offers the classic views of the 69 feet high Christine Falls and rustic stone Christine Falls Bridge. Parking is limited and park only on the designated area. One mile east of Christine Falls pullout heading towards Paradise, there is a tall bridge know as Glacier Bridge. The view from the bridge is phenomenal. Do not stop your car on the bridge, rather park your car before entering the bridge or after crossing the bridge. Take a short walk on the bridge and enjoy the magnificent views of Nisqually Valley, Nisqually Glacier, and Nisqually River. Watch out for the ongoing traffic and take extra caution while taking pictures and walking on the bridge. Drive 1.5 miles east of the Glacier Bridge and take a right to Ricksecker Point road. This one-way road is open only in summer and offers remarkable views of Mount Rainier, Nisqually Valley, and the Tatoosh Range. The magical Narada Falls is located 2.5 mile east of Ricksecker Point (around 8 miles east of Longmire). You can view the falls from the large parking area or you can take a short but steep trail down for a better view of the 159 feet high falls. There are bunch of picnic tables where you can relax and catch your breath after the uphill hike.
    • Paradise Area: Visit Paradise and enjoy hiking to picturesque Myrtle Falls. This place is a paradise with spectacular views of Mt Rainier, colorful wildflowers, beautiful valleys, and waterfalls. The Paradise area offers many easy and great trails with stunning views. You can experience the real beauty of Paradise by hiking many trails located in the area. Many trails intersect each other so that you can make your hike short or long based on your preference, but either way you will be amazed by the gorgeous views. Enjoy Paradise Valley Road from Paradise parking lot to Steven Canyon Road. This 2 mile one-way road takes you through the beautiful meadows with Paradise valleys and Paradise river. There are couple of designated parking spots along the drive. Take caution while parking on the shoulder
    • Stevens Canyon Road: Drive the winding, scenic Stevens Canyon Road and stop at the road side attractions Inspiration Point and Refection Lake. Inspiration Point Lookout is located 3 miles south of Paradise and offers spectacular views of Mount Rainier and the surrounding Tatoosh Range. One mile south of Inspiration Point Lookout is the Reflection Lake. Sunrise views at Reflection Lake are stunning. As the name suggests, on a calm and clear day the mirror image of picturesque Mt Rainier can be seen on tranquil Reflection Lake. Easy to access, few steps from the parking lot (parking is limited) offers stunning postcard views
    • Sunrise Area: Drive to Sunrise Park Road (via Steven Canyon Road, then WA-123 N, and WA-410 E) and enjoy the popular attractions along the way. Take an easy stroll around the beautiful subalpine Tipsoo lake surrounded by gorgeous wildflower meadows. Stop at Sunrise point Lookout for gorgeous view of Sunrise Lake to the north, sweeping views of the Cascade Range to the east, and Mount Rainier to the southwest. The last stop on Sunrise Park Road area offers breathtaking panoramic views of surrounding valleys, Mt Rainier and other volcanoes in the cascade ranges
  • Popular and easy hikes

  • Alta Vista Trial: This 1.8 mile steep up hill loop hike from Paradise is considered as moderate. It is worth even hiking half way. During summer, the trail offers fantastic displays of wildflowers, dramatic panoramic views of Mount Rainier, and the surrounding foothills. The hike is mostly paved with some rough spots and narrow path. Please stay on the path to preserve the meadow ecosystem. The trails is best used from June until October

  • Nisqually Vista Trail: This easy, paved 1 mile loop trail located near Paradise winds through the wildflowers meadows. This trail has several beautiful viewpoints which offer panoramic view of Nisqually Glacier and Mt Rainier. The trail is best used from June until October

  • Tipsoo Lake Trail: Short and easy 0.8 mile loop trail offers great views of snow-capped peak of Mt Rainier, lush valleys, wildflowers, and clear water perfect for the reflection. Walk clockwise for better view and stay on trails to protect the delicate meadows.

  • Sunrise Nature Trail : The Sunrise Nature Trail is an easy 1.5 mile loop hike near Sunrise parking area. There are several trails sharing the same trailhead at the north end of the Sunrise parking lot. This hike offers stunning panoramic views of Mt Rainier and surrounding peaks over the wildflowers blanket

  • Sourdough Ridge Trail to Frozen Lake: 3 mile loop trail from the Sunrise Visitor Center Parking lot. The Sourdough Ridge Trail and Sunrise Nature Trail share the same first half mile starting from the north end of the Sunrise parking area. Follow the nature trail, then at the fork, (you can see the Sourdough Ridge Trail sign) turn left and head west on the Sourdough Ridge Trail to reach Frozen lake. This trail is open from June to October and offers incredible views of Mount Rainier, the north side of Sourdough Ridge and the icebergs floated greenish blue colored Frozen Lake at the end

Categories: National ParksTags: , , , , , , , , ,

6 comments

  1. Wow! Absolute beautiful! Great post! Thanks for sharing!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I’ve always wanted to go to Mount Rainier National Park. The landscape is jaw dropping. Looks like you had fabulous weather for your visit.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Brilliant photography and your blog is a treat to explore! Your ‘About’ says it all! Cheers 👍

    Liked by 1 person

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