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Jill Sanford | 07.13.2017

Mount Rainier is one of the most iconic peaks in North America. Rising 14,410 feet above sea level, it can be seen for miles and often hovers like a sentinel over the cities of Seattle and Tacoma. As the one of the earliest national parks established in the U.S, Mount Rainier National Park offers hundreds of hiking trails and scenic drives.

Mount Rainier does not disappoint and is just as legendary as featured adventures and photos included here make it out to be.

  1. Wildflowers: From avalanche lilies, western springbeauties, pink mountain heather, showy sedge,  and yellow monkey flower, the wildflowers of Mount Rainier are just as spectacular and colorful as their names. Wildflower season varies based on location and weather. Learn more here.  
  2. Alpine Lakes: Mount Rainier National Park features a ton of lovely alpine lakes with crystals clear water and incredible scenery. They are a perfect place to relax on a warm day. 
  3. Glaciers: Let’s face it, there’s not many glaciers left, and those we have are disappearing fast. That makes the legendary glaciers of Mount Rainier all the more special and something everyone can see for themselves as soon as possible. 
  4. Waterfalls: After several years with less precipitation and snowpack than usual, Mount Rainier National Park’s rivers and streams are running at full tilt once again. All that water is best appreciated out in the wilderness near a waterfall, if you ask us. 
  5. Active Volcano: Mount Rainier is a stratovolcano that is part of the Cascade Mountain Range, which is part of the Pacific Ocean’s Ring of Fire. At 500,000 years old, it’s a relatively young volcano compared to the other peaks that surround it, which have been around for at least 12 million years. 
  6. History: Like all national parks, Rainier has an incredible natural and cultural history. It was established in 1899 and was a favorite place of the legendary John Muir. Learn more here. 
  7. Paradise: The Paradise region of the park is located on the Southern Slopes of the volcano and one of the busiest and most iconic parts of the park. 
  8. Sunrise Point: Located in the Northeastern Corner of the park, this lookout is one of the best places to view the mountain in the morning, as the name suggests. It’s also the highest visitor’s center, sitting at 6,400 feet above sea level, and it sees less precipitation than most other areas of the park. 
  9. The Wonderland Trail: This 93-mile trail circumnavigates Mount Rainier and makes for a great multi-day trek or a day hike on specific sections. It takes you to waterfalls, scenic vistas, and offers a unparalleled glimpse of the national park.
  10. Mountaineering: One of the most popular places to summit a 14er using traditional mountaineering equipment and skills, Mount Rainier is a mountaineer’s playground. About 50% of all climbers who attempt this feat make it to the summit. 
  11. Camp Muir: Named after the legendary national park's patriarch, this camp is the highest point you can go to on the mountain without a formal climbing permit. It’s located at just over 10,000 feet. 
  12. Grove of Patriarchs: This gentle, scenic 1.5-mile trail reveals the gentler side of Mount Rainier National Park compared to the grueling high elevation climbs. Cross a bridge over the Ohanapecosh River to a grove of some of the oldest trees in the Cascades.


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