Monday, October 10, 2011

Visiting Mount Rainier

Just a short drive from Seattle, Mount Rainier is located to the southeast and on a clear day can be seen from many miles away. In fact, as you are driving around the Seattle area you may at first mistake the beautifully snow capped peak for cloud cover as it rises up 14,411 feet above sea level. Being this close to the ocean the rise in altitude appears to be even more dramatic than other mountains this tall where the surrounding area is already 5,000-6,000 feet. The picture shown here, was taken on the way up the mountain when we were at an altitude of about 4500 feet.

Mount Rainier is a great place to visit. The scenery is spectacular with pristine waterfalls, dense forest, rock formations and meadows filled with spring flowers. Even in the summer on a warm comfortable day you may come across an ice patch on a hiking trail. When we visited in the middle of summer we were very comfortable in shorts, but lakes part way up the mountain were still partially frozen and ice and snow was plentiful in many spots. We took the rode to Paradise, which I highly recommend, and enjoyed some good hiking and the wonderful view at Narada Falls on the way up. The historic Paradise Inn is a great place to relax and enjoy lunch or a snack and take in some of the mountain views. The nearby meadow can either be filled with spring flowers blooming or a snow playground to enjoy, depending on the year. Either way, it will be great fun and create special memories for you and your family. Enjoy!

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