Mount Rainier, or Paradise

I fell in love with Mount Rainier National Park. I’ve seen some pretty impressive national parks and mountains over the years… but this one is special. My words won’t do it justice; John Muir managed to get closer than I can, though.

“Of all the fire mountains which like beacons, once blazed along the Pacific Coast, Mount Rainier is the noblest.”

It’s one of those mountains that makes you dream. There’s just a something special that I haven’t quite found anywhere else….yet.

The drives to and through the park are impressive in and of themselves, and a little panic inducing at times, but nothing beats getting out on the trails. I hiked a few trails

-Grove of the Patriarchs

-Skyline

-Nisqually Vista

-Alta Vista

-Box Canyon

and a few waterfalls, the names of which (and the trails they were on) elude me.

Mount Rainier gets a lot of snow, and that snow lingers. It was super hot when I was there, so I was really happy to spend some time hiking in the snow. And, of course, building really tiny snowmen. I’m a big fan of snow and the cold, so stumbling onto snowy trails was right up my alley (and I had the proper gear, as an added plus).

Mount Rainier also has some pretty impressive alpine meadows, and the flowers were in full bloom when I was there. It was a really beautiful contrast, the flowers growing right next to the snow.

I stayed the Crest Trail Lodge in Packwood while I was in Mount Rainier. I can’t recommend this place enough. Nice, clean, quiet….super friendly staff, and free wine! I chilled out with my free wine and a Harry Potter marathon on Freeform. There’s a coffee place down the road, Mountain Goat Coffee, en route to the park, that’s amazing. Granted, it seems like all of the coffee in Washington and Oregon is amazing, at this point.

I look forward in the next summer or two to returning to explore more of the park, particularly Sunrise, and hopefully getting closer to that summit!

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