Thursday, August 9, 2018

My Favorite Mountain

Although most of our time this trip was all about the boy any trip to Washington State is also always a little bit about the rugged beauty of the Pacific Northwest. 

Before Daughter1 and her hubs went out of town we managed a day trip to my favorite mountain. 

I'd never been to the Evergreen State before my daughter got married and moved cross country, but from the very first trip we made here I knew I'd need to see this mountain up close and in person one day.

Mt. Rainier is the highest peak in the Cascade Range and somehow those enormous mountains manage to look dinky when viewed beside THE mountain.

 Even baby boy can't believe its size.

We set out for a hike with daughter1 toting her son on her back. Did I mention the trail here is steep? Very! And he's half her height and nearly a third her weight when you factor in the carrier, but she was a trooper and so was he, all comfy cozy in the pack.

So comfy cozy in fact he dozed off on the way back down.

Everybody stopped for a minute to watch this hoary marmot scamper across the path. Apparently they're found in abundance here but we only saw one.

There's a nice Visitors Center where you catch the trail and you'll find restrooms here along with visitor information and a cafe. We brought our lunch in a cooler and there are plenty of picnic tables too.

There's also a charming inn (Paradise Inn) with a restaurant and lovely gift shop where we browsed and bought Christmas ornaments because we always do when we travel anywhere new. The Inn is currently under renovation but according to their website has some limited availability during the process.

The day was warm and crystal clear which is important if you want to see the mountain. Not so much the warm part, but the clear part definitely matters. Daughter1 had been to the park with her husband in mid-June and the trails were still covered in snow and the skies so hazy they couldn't see the mountain top. Hard to imagine but true.

It feels a bit like you're in Europe here, maybe Austria or Switzerland. Just stunning!

There are a number of stopping points on the drive up through the park, hiking trails, waterfalls, and scenic overlooks (what's not scenic here???) and on the way back down we stopped to see one of the most photographed spots in Rainier-Reflection Lake. Named I think because at certain times of day the mountain is perfectly reflected in the alpine waters of this crystal clear beauty.

We stopped to take a peek at a couple of waterfalls too, but didn't linger long as we had a one year old with us, it was hot, and we'd already had a pretty full day. Hubs would love to go back one day and hike up to the base camp and spend the night. We'll see if maybe he can make that happen.

We could not have asked for a nicer day and if you're in the Seattle area I highly recommend you spend some time here.

 She's a beauty from a distance, but up close is truly spectacular.


  1. Wow. You had a perfect day for your trip to the mountain! Great photos! And that little guy....

  2. Beautiful pictures. We went to the Pacific NW two summers ago and just loved it. We stayed at the Paradise Inn for one night, and everything was still covered in snow - it was mid-June!! Looks like a wonderful visit!

  3. I can't imagine a better day! Having a 1 yr. old with you all makes it even more interesting. Sucking his thumb is more special.

  4. We were stationed at Ft Lewis for 2 years (1993-95!) ... thanks for the beautiful pictures and memories of a gorgeous place!!

  5. This Colorado girl now living in Florida loved this post and every. single. one. of. your. pictures. I could feel (albeit briefly) the climate through the snapshots. So very beautiful. Thank you for sharing.

  6. We viewed from afar when we were there, just didn't have the time to see if up close and personal. It is just beautiful, glad you got to get up close and personal with it. Happy weekend!

  7. So glad you got to see your favorite mountain. Looks like it was a great day and I love the photos.