Day Tripping to Mt. Rainier
Hiking is among my favorite day trip adventures. It includes exercise, fresh air, and a peaceful retreat from the every day routine. One of the most beautiful places to hike is Mount Rainier. Mount Rainier National Park boasts over 260 miles of trails leading through rivers, streams, beautiful wildflower meadows, and breath-taking waterfalls.
Before starting your journey make sure you visit the Mount Rainier National Park website for any alerts and to familiarize yourself with the rules and regulations when visiting the mountain. Driving from Lake Stevens to Mount Rainier will take you about two and a half hours so get an early start, pack a lunch, and bring a lot of snacks and water.
After a hike I am usually pretty exhausted so I recommend if you want to learn more about the park visit the Paradise Jackson Visitor Center before your hike. You can find general information, exhibits, and sometimes the people that run the park have time to tell you some pretty cool stories about the park and the mountain.
Along the mountain are hikes for all experience levels. The most popular trail areas are Paradise, Longmire, and Ohanapecosh. Each of these areas is worth visiting but my favorite is Paradise. On my most recent adventure I chose the Bench and Snow Lakes Trail, which is a two-hour hike.
Starting off at the trailhead, make sure you have everything you need. I know I have mentioned this already but I cannot stress it enough: bring water and snacks! There is nothing worse than hiking with a dry throat and an empty stomach.
The Bench and Snow Lakes Trail is a two and a half miles and takes you through flowing meadows and two beautiful lakes. Make sure you bring your camera and leave your headphones at home. Breathe deep, take in the sights of rainier, the rolling meadows, and the serenity of the lakes.
Meadows along the mountain are unlike anything I had ever seen. Even though I have adventured on Mount Rainier many times since moving to Washington I still love the blooming summer meadows. The Nisqually Vista trail is one of the best trails to enjoy the meadows and the view of Mount Rainier. On some days the clouds are low enough to walk among. It is truly an amazing feeling to walk among the clouds as you view the Nisqually Glacier.
Mount Rainier Park offers a variety of trails with different views of the mountain, meadows, and wildlife. If you have not visited Mount Rainier or have not visited in a while, take time this year on a beautiful weekend to adventure out and enjoy a beautiful view.