Day 1 - 20 Jul 2019
Content: Mt. Rainier National Park is about a two-hour drive from seattle, an easy day trip, but there is so much to this park, you are going to want to stay longer.
Day 1 - 20 Jul 2019
Content: Upon entering the Nisqually Entrance in the southwest corner, made our way to Longmire. Longmire is preserved as one of the quintessential examples of national parks architecture.
Content: We camped in Cougar Rock Campground, which was comfortable and wooded. The Wonderland Trail, a 95-mile trail which circumnavigates the park, goes right by the Cougar Rock Campground and the rangers recommended hiking a nearby flat section along the Nisqually River up to Carter and Madcap Falls.
Content: There’s a reason this area was called Paradise and that’s because it is completely gorgeous. While we got glimpses of the mountain on the way up, it is this section of the road where we got some truly breathtaking views.
Content: This waterfall is actually framed by the bridge going across the creek and it is a short hike down to check it out.
Content: After leaving Christine Falls, we saw a sign indicated a road on the right, the Ricksecker Point Loop. We turned here and park in the first available spot, then looked north towards Mt. Rainier. The stop rewarded us with one of the best views of the mountain in the park.
Content: Great place to catch an actual sit-down meal inside the Park. Couldn’t be more convenient to the Paradise area. The prices are a little high but that’s expected for the convenience factor. The food is pretty good and the staff is enjoyable.
Content: This place is the perfect place to stay when visiting Mt Rainer NP. Great location - close to Sunrise and it’s amazing views and hikes. Riverview a great hot tub and views too! The staff is very friendly, knowledgeable and helpful too.
Day 2 - 21 Jul 2019
Content: Head north on Hwy. 123 up to Cayuse Pass and then take Hwy. 410 to the White River entrance to the park and more staggering views of the mountain and surrounding peaks.The road up to Sunrise is only open from early July to early October, so plan your trip accordingly. The road switches back and forth until you get to Sunrise Point. The parking area there can be a bit crazy, but be sure to stop. The views are some of the best in the park.
Content: Continuing on, head up to the Sunrise Visitor Center and Lodge area, where you can get information on some good day hikes in the area. A small snack bar provides a basic breakfast (hamburgers, hot dogs and pre-made sandwiches)
Content: We chose to hike out the Silver Forest Trail, which offers an easy alpine stroll and plenty of great views and then continued on to Shadow Lake.
Content: The trail out to Shadow Lake was more downhill than uphill on the way out, making for a little huffing on the way back. Still, you are in an alpine wonderland with plenty of views to make the hike worth it.
Content: We found crystal clear water which reflects the mountain with the clarity of a mirror. The trick is to get there early before the wind picks up and starts ripples in the water.
Content: Box Canyon offers great views of the mountains to the south and a deep slot canyon with the Cowlitz River flowing through it. There is a loop trail with some apparently gorgeous views, but the park service closed it for repairs when we visited. Next time!
Content: The Ohanapecosh Visitor Center is located right at the Ohanapecosh Campground and is relatively small, but has a lot of information about the old-growth forest ecosystem. Just be aware parking is relatively limited in this area.
Content: We took the Silver Falls Trail south for a few miles and enjoyed great views of cascades making their way through the old growth forest.
Content: Backtracking a bit will take you to the Grove of the Patriarchs trailhead, one of the more crowded sections of the park. We hiked the Grove of the Patriarchs trail, which was breathtaking. The trees found in this grove are truly massive.
Content: We were really glad we had two relatively clear days at Mount Rainier National Park to enjoy staggering views of the mountains. Plus, we had time to spend hiking on a few short trails.