Mt. Rainier National Park
Time: ½ day to full day+
Cost: Entrance fee per car
Mt. Rainier National Park is amazing. There are two entrances to the park from the Seattle side; Paradise and Sunrise. The two entrances provide different experiences and I like both for different reasons. The Paradise entrance through the Puyallup and Eatonville area always seems to be a little more crowded, but, the views are amazing on the drive and the Paradise visitors’ center has several great trails leading out from it. One view worth stopping for is Christine Falls, pictured below. The walk down to the falls viewing area is a little steep but it is well traveled. Parking is along the side of the road.
In the winter, this snow pack is amazing to see. One note – verify road conditions and restrictions before heading up to Paradise and in the winter expect chains or four-wheel drive to be required. Even in the late spring up through June you can find snow at Paradise. The photo below was taken in late May. The snow pack was still four to six feet deep in places. Make sure you pack water and snacks in addition, if you are going to venture out onto the snow bring your sunglasses and shoes or boots that will keep your feet dry.
The Sunrise entrance is through the Enumclaw area and always seems to be a little more relaxed. There are numerous trail heads along the road and many opportunities to explore.
Road Conditions: (360) 569-2211