You’ve seen pictures of Mount Rainier, the snow-capped peak that provides such a stunning backdrop to the Seattle skyline. Isn’t it time you took a closer look?
Mount Rainier National Park is just an hour’s drive from the city, but it feels much further away. This is what they mean when they say “wilderness.”
The volcano that dominates the park has held its fiery breath for 150 years. The forests, parkland, wetlands, lakes, and rivers harbor dozens of species of birds, animals, reptiles, and fish.
Visit in spring, when the wildflowers burst like gems across the hillsides. Visit in summer, when the air is warm and the sun glints off the glaciers. Visit in fall, when the leaves turn the color of fire. Visit in winter, when you’ll feel like you have the park to yourself.
You’ll find services at Paradise, Sunrise, Longmire, Ohanapecosh, and Carbon/Mowich. Grab a map and take a scenic drive or set off on foot—there are 260 miles of hiking trails. Join the exclusive but growing club of visitors who’ve reached the mountain’s summit.
As Nietzsche said, “He who climbs upon the highest mountains, laughs at all tragedies, real or imaginary.”
If You Go:
The 93-mile Wonderland Trail takes you around the base of Mount Rainier, and over the Tahoma Creek suspension bridge.
The damage done by previous storms has been repaired. However, Fall/Winter storms and the damage they reek on park trails, campgrounds and roads continue to challenge the Park Service. Please check road conditions prior to heading to the park.
Air pollution is among the most serious threats to national parks. The National Park Service has established the NPS air quality webcam network to show “live” digital images of more than a dozen parks. Click here to see current air conditions at Mount Rainier National Park.