HIking · Travel

National Park Time at Mt. Rainier!

Hi everyone!  We’re currently having a blast in Seattle and trying to strike a balance between sleeping in and watching TV and getting out and exploring the city!  Vacation problems.  On Wednesday our first adventure was spent at Mt. Rainier National Park.  The park isn’t exactly close to Seattle, but it’s less than a 2 hour drive and definitely worth it!

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Andrew and I have been here years ago when we last visited Andrew’s dad here, but we really wanted to go back.  We remembered being totally blown away by how big the mountain was, how many glaciers were on it, and all the unique plants that we’d never seen while hiking before.  This time, we had mixed feelings about it – while it was definitely beautiful, it’s not the largest mountain we’ve ever seen and we see glaciers every day in Seward.  Alaska is kind of ruining the “wow factor” that things used to have when we lived in Philly!  But we still really enjoyed the few hikes that we did here and would recommend this park to anyone who visits Seattle.

Our first stop was at The Grove of the Patriarchs in the bottom right corner of the park.  This is a super short and flat hike to an island where large trees have been preserved for thousands of years, so they have grown to be really large and tall.  It’s so awesome to see how big they are!

IMG_2956You can’t even reach around these trees

IMG_3004 Inside a tree!

After that hike, which was pretty crowded, we headed over to Paradise.  This is the biggest visitor’s center in the park and is the start of many pretty trails.  We had to leave our hiking boots in Alaska due to weight restrictions on our suitcases, so we weren’t really down for anything longer than an hour. We decided to hike to Myrtle Falls, which is a paved hike that’s good for any ability level.  On the way we met the boldest deer I’ve ever seen!  They had no fear and kept on eating while people walked by.

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The falls are so pretty and have a killer view of Mt. Rainier!

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After the falls, we kept hiking on the Skyline Trail.  The trail went up a pretty steep hill and we eventually stopped when we reached a set of steep switchbacks up the mountain.  If we would have kept going it would have taken hours to do the loop, but we plan on doing it next time for sure!

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We only spent about 5 hours in the park but wish we could have spent all day hiking!  We plan on coming back again next time we visit Seattle.  Although honestly, I think Alaska has much prettier national parks!  Yeah, I’m biased.

Have you ever been to Mt. Rainier?  What’s your favorite national park?

15 thoughts on “National Park Time at Mt. Rainier!

  1. What a gorgeous experience! You have such wonderful adventures and I love looking at all your pictures. Please keep them coming! It’s so funny that Alaska has given you a bias when it comes to natural beauty. Appreciate every minute of it!

    1. Haha I’m trying! But it’s weird remembering something one way and then seeing it again after all my experiences in Alaska. It’s definitely still really beautiful though and I will keep coming back each time I come to visit.

    1. Haha! Right before getting in I asked my husband “There’s probably spiders in here right?” and he said yes…and then I got in anyways because when else am I going to fit inside a tree?

  2. We went snow shoeing at Mt Ranier a few years ago. They old us we were walking in top of almost 20 feet of snow. 20 feet! Crazyness! It looks so pretty in the summer! I think I need to go back and see the green at Mt Ranier!

    1. Wow that’s awesome! Show shoeing there would be amazing! Last time we went was the summer and that was pretty, but I liked going at this time of year too because everything was starting to change colors. I feel like I need to visit in each season now!

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