Mount Rainier National Park, Washington
Mount Rainier (14,410 ft), also known as Mount Tacoma, in the south-west of Washington state, is one of a geologically recent chain of volcanoes in the Cascade Mountains that in the last few years have made news with spectacular eruptions. The volcano grew in size from the late Tertiary period onwards, the crater becoming ever larger. Over the last 2000 years it has been highly active.
Road to Paradise
The busiest road in the National Park is the winding mountain road from the Nisqually entrance (2000 ft), which runs through beautiful forest country by way of Kautz Creek to Longmire (2765 ft; mineral springs; National Park administration) and up to Paradise (5400 ft; winter sports facilities). From here there is a choice of memorable hikes (e.g. to the foot of the Nisqually Glacier).
Sunrise, Mount Rainier National Park, Washington
The 95 mi. long Wonderland Trail runs round Mount Rainier through magnificent scenery with numerous fine viewpoints. As the trail is very demanding, walkers must first obtain permission from the park administration.
Eastern Part of Mount Rainier National Park
The eastern part of the National Park can be explored on the WA 123 that runs through magnificent scenery from the south-east entrance to the park to the Ohanapecosh Visitor Center (1915 ft) and on to Stevens Canyon, a typical glaciated valley with spectacular waterfalls. From there a short side trip (on foot) can be made to the Grove of the Patriarchs with its giant trees hundreds of years old. From Stevens Canyon the road climbs northward to the Cayuse Pass (4695 ft), where the WA 123 runs into the Mather Memorial Parkway (WA 410). From here the Parkway continues north to Tacoma and Seattle.
Crystal Mountain offers year round activities, with alpine skiing in the winter and biking or sightseeing activities in the summer. If you are not interested in strenuous physical activity it's also possible in the summer to ride the scenic chairlift up the mountain and have dinner at the top.
Green Water - Federation Forest State Park
Known for its old growth every greens, Federation Forest State Park is a day use only area with hiking trails and an interpretive center. Come and learn about the forest with Douglas firs, western hemlock, Sitka spruce and western red cedar or just enjoy the great outdoors.
More Mount Rainier National Park Pictures