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Mount Rainier National Park

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United States


Mount Rainier National Park

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At 14,410 feet of altitude Mount Rainier is not only an active volcano but it is the most frozen peak in all of the United States. This iconic volcano in Washington feeds 5 rivers, which provided a steady source of water for the Native Americans who inhabited the land for thousands of years, making use of its resources. With the first evidence of civilization dating back 9,000 years. Mount Rainier became a National Park in 1899, with the aim to protect the landscape and increase tourism. In fact even nowadays this park is abundant in flora and wild flowers.

Mount Rainer National Park Mountain Landscape 1600

The Grove of the Patriarchs Nature trail is an easy 1.9 Km hike, which can be followed by visitors of most physical abilities. While there is a parking lot at walking distance from the trail-head, this tends to get full very early especially in Summer. This nature trail offers a calming experience as it moves around a forest of gigantic 300 foot tall trees, some of which have been around for more than 1000 years. Needless to say that walking next to these trees is a really dwarfing yet relaxing experience. The trail crosses over the Ohanapecosh River, where visitors must cross to a small island over a suspension bridge. While the crossing can be slightly springy, there is no need to worry, especially if you follow the provided safety directions, such as crossing one person at a time. Once across the bridge the trees, albeit still dense, get smaller but it still is a wonderful experience. Most of the trail is highly accessible as it moves along a boardwalk, sheltered by massive old growth trees. Visitors can also learn more about the plants and the surrounding nature through multiple informative signs along the route.

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This viewpoint is a short 0.4 mile paved winding walk away from the Paradise Parking area, in spring this walk is characterized by beautiful flora making the walk even more enjoyable. During the trail Mount Rainier is almost constantly in full view dominating the scene. After crossing a short footbridge over Edith Creek Basin, a left turn leads to the outstanding 72 feet high Myrtle waterfalls with the iced peak of Mount Rainier as a backdrop. This gorgeous scenery and the sound of the water gushing as it hits the river make this viewpoint impossible to forget. A perfect instagrammable moment which is not to be missed. The area can get quite busy, so avoiding peak times is definitely recommended. From Paradise Area visitors can also visit other falls such as the Sluiskin Falls, a trail which also offers excellent views of the mountain. Accessing this viewpoint may be closed in winter due to snow, so check before visiting.

The Nisqually Vista trail is a 2.2 Mile loop trail. From the Henry M. Jackson Visitor Center a stone staircase of around 30 steps leads to Avalanche Lily. The dark green trees, contrasted by the blues and white of the glacier resemble a scene out of a painting. A left turn leads to the paved winding Nisqually Vista Trail overlooking the glacier bearing the same name. This trail offers a number of viewpoints over looking the grand Nisqually Glacier. With the best viewpoint being some 0.5 miles into the trail. The glacier gives life to the Nisqually River, which grows throughout the year as the ice and snow melts. From Nisqually Vista Trail, visitors can follow alternate routes such as the Deadhorse Creek Trail and the Moraine Trail, which offer a closer look at the Nisqually Glacier as they descend further. Parking for this trail is available at two parking lots near Paradise Park, which is a wonderful sought after location popular for its different species of wild flower.

Mount Rainer National Park Swamp Below A Mountain 1600

Entrance to the park is against a $15 entrance fee per vehicle for a seven day pass. Camping is possible at one of the 3 campgrounds, Ohanapecosh Campground, which is available on first come first serve basis, Cougar Rock Campground and White River Campground, each with an individual site fee of $20.

Covering 236,381 acres, Mount Rainier National Park is one remarkable location. In winter the park is a recreational haven for winter sport enthusiasts with ample possibilities such as Sledding, Snowboarding, Skiing, Snowshoe walks and snowmobiling. Keep an eye out for coyotes, bobcats, raccoon, rodents and birds as this park is home to a wild variety of wildlife. While Mount Rainier is obviously the main attraction, dominating the landscape from above, this park has so much more to offer. Be it wildlife, rivers, valleys, mountains and glaciers there is no doubt that this park offers a diverse landscape. With the glaciers and wilderness constantly changing the park takes a new life every time you visit.

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Mount Rainier National Park Address & Directions

Mount Rainier National Park, Washington

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