From my Western road trip in June, I was feeling inspired to see more national parks, before leaving the country in August. July 22-27 I stayed in Seattle, Washington and was able to hit up all three national parks in the state! I spent one day in Seattle, and then allotted a day for each national park. On July 24, 2017 I headed towards Mount Rainier from Seattle to visit my 6th National Park! I was ecstatic on the drive there, because you could actually see this huge mountain throughout the drive.
This is a view of the mountain from the car early in the two hour drive! You can also see my national park pass 🙂
On the way, I also had the pleasure of trying white coffee for the first time!
White coffee has about twice the amount of caffeine, and has a nutty flavor. It is literally white in color too! It looked like milk! Washington has coffee stands everywhere, which my taste buds really enjoyed.
Upon entry to the park, you see the Mount Rainier park sign.
I had read multiple blogs about how to tackle Mount Rainier in a day, and they all recommended going to Paradise area first. Behind Paradise, there is a trailhead where you can choose to go up towards the Skyline trail or right towards Myrtle Falls. Myrtle Falls was only 0.4 miles away from the trailhead. It was a very short hike with a rewarding view.
If you keep going down this trail, it connects with the Skyline trail, which gives you a wonderful up close view of Mount Rainier and its surrounding mountains.
This mountain was covered in greenery: trees, grass, wildflowers.
Magenta paintbrushes covered the mountains, they were so beautiful and colorful!
These are pictures of the various wildflowers that cover the mountain.
Along the skyline trail, there was an elderly couple sitting on a rock, who recommended sitting still for a moment to see a marmot.
If it wasn’t for these lovely strangers’ advice, I would have probably never seen a marmot. This little guys was so cute and frolicked across the water.
There were many waterfalls along this trail, due to the glaciers melting.
You had to skip across rocks here to cross this body of water!
Currently, at this point in the year, you cannot complete the Skyline trail, because of the snow surrounding Mount Rainier, but hiking the four miles on this trail, gave a wonderful view of the falls, flowers, mountains, and glaciers. I recommend bringing mosquito spray, sunscreen, snacks, and plenty of water. I am covered in mosquito bites from all three of the parks in Washington; I’ll know next time. The majority of this trail is also in direct sunlight.
I was also excited for the Grove of Patriarchs trail, which is in the Ohanapecosh area of the park.
Hiking the Grove of the Patriarchs made me excited for the Hoh Rainforest of Olympic! I love plants, and these trees were covered in moss and there were ferns everywhere.
These trees were massive. The shade was also really enjoyable!
The Grove of Patriarchs trail takes you along the Ohanapecosh river, which is a beautiful turquoise shade from the glaciers!
There are many look out points along the road.
This is the Falls Creek look out, which is about 100 meters from the Grove of Patriarch trail head.
This is the box canyon lookout. It was peaceful to sit on this bridge and listen to the water flow down the mountain.
This view point features the Reflection Lake with Mount Rainier. The water was low and the grass was growing, so currently the national park is making an effort to save the Reflection lake.
This was another lookout on the way back to Paradise. It’s hard to truly capture the size of this active volcano that ascends over 14,000 feet into the sky. This was the first time I laid eyes on glaciers! I felt fortunate to see the wildflowers in bloom. Mount Rainier was unique from the mountains I had seen in Colorado, because it was covered in so much greenery and flowers. It was beautiful and majestic. It reminded me of what a fairy village would look like. Besides the wildflowers, my favorite part was listening to the water crash into the mountain; it was so peaceful and relaxing. I wouldn’t have spent the day any other way.