If you live near Seattle or are planning a getaway there soon, Mount Rainier National Park is a beautiful place no matter what time of year. There’s hiking, mountain views, shimmering waterfalls, and impressive glaciers all in the comforts of the park.
Mount Rainier was first established in 1899 and was the United States’ fifth park. The national park has been known to draw in over two million visitors annually. Following are some tips to know before you go. Be sure to plan your visit before arrival.
Most trails have snow through July
Outside of summer, many of the park’s trails and areas are closed. And even when these areas open for summer visitors, a lot of the trails have snow through late July. To be able to see as much of Mount Rainier National Park as possible, August is one of the best times to visit.
Mount Rainier National Park has two central sections – Paradise & Sunrise
These two visitor centers are the park’s most popular. They sport the best scenic views and the most hiking trails. There are two other park sections but if you’re only in town for a couple of days, Paradise & Sunrise are your best options.
Pack clothing for all seasons and bring sunscreen
Summer temps in the region are temperate. However, if you’re planning any hikes, the mountainous regions can be a bit chilly. It’s important to dress in layers or bring extra clothes to stay warm on the higher elevation trails. A hat is a must-have, as the winds atop the peaks are blustery – even in August.
Book accommodations in advance
There are three campgrounds within Mount Rainier – always call ahead to be certain the park is accepting reservations. There are two lodges that offer incredible amenities just outside the park in Longmire – Paradise Inn and National Park Inn.
Mount Rainier is a volcano – an active one
While it hasn’t seen an eruption since 1894, it’s still considered one of the world’s most dangerous volcanoes. Yellowstone, however, is also an active caldera – people still come from around the world to see nature’s beauty.