6 Reasons Why You Should Explore Mt. Rainier National Park

Explorer

Michael Matti

Explore the best of the PNW.

Mt. Rainier National Park is the fifth national park created in the United States and definitely one of the most stunning places in the country. This expansive park is full of adventures ideal for the most casual group looking for a family camping escape to those who want to summit the Cascade Range’s tallest peak, Mt. Rainier (14,411 feet). Whatever your adventure aspirations are, here are 6 reasons to make this national park a future destination.

1. Camp at Snow Lake

Photo: Michael Matti

Take a quick 1.3 mile hike through wildflowers to reach one of the two lakeside campsites available. Remember to bring a warm sleeping bag as it can get cold at night. Learn More.

2. Hike to Tolmie Peak's Fire Lookout

Photo: Mitch Pittman

Hit the trail for 7-miles roundtrip to reach this lookout. En route, you'll pass by two alpine lakes and take in wide-open views of Mt. Rainier. Learn More

3. Hike to Upper Palisades Lake

Photo: John Chau

Park at the Sunrise Point parking area and head out on this 6.6 mile roundtrip hike. You'll pass by towering rock formations and gain 1200 feet as you reach this alpine lake. Learn More.

4. Hike to Spray Park

Photo: Greg Balkin

This 7-mile roundtrip hike takes you through hidden meadows and fields of wildflowers. There is also a 0.25 mile detour to a Spray Falls. Learn More.

5. Hike Panorama Point

Photo: Michael Matti

On this 5.4 mile loop, you'll be able to take in 360 degree views of Mt. Rainier National Park. The 1700 foot elevation gain will make stopping at the point a great time for a break. There's also a bathroom up there just in case you need it. Learn More

6. Climb Mt. Rainier via Disappointment Cleaver

Photo: Bernini Ngo

Climb the most glaciated volcano in the continental U.S. as well as the namesake of the park. If scaling this 1400 foot peak is a little out of your league, no problem, there are several guiding companies you can book with or enjoy views of Rainier from safer areas of the park. Learn More.

Discover more adventures in Mt. Rainier National Park.

Published: May 21, 2015

Michael MattiExplorer

Seattle based photographer and hiker. www.michaelmatti.com

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