Mt. Rainier National Park
North of Mount St. Helens, but within easy driving distance is Mt. Rainier and Mt. Rainier National Park. Unbeknownst to some, Mt. Rainier itself is another "sleeping" volcano in the same Cascade Mountain range as Mts. Adams, Baker and Hood. Mt. Rainier is one of the highest mountains in America, rising to 14, 411 ft. and trailing Mt. McKinley by almost 6,000 ft.
Offering plenty of fantastic views, tours, hiking trails, and winter sports such as cross-country skiing and snowshooing. The Henry M. Jackson Memorial Visitor Center (open year round) will educate you with exhibits on geology, glaciers, flora & fauna in the area, and don't miss the gift shop. The seasonally open Sunrise Day Lodge & Visitor Center offers great views of the Cascades with dining and gift shop available as well.
If you just can't pull yourself away from all the beautfy, one of the cozy inns will surely satisfy you. It will be difficult to choose from the Paradise Inn (built in 1917) a National Historic Landmark; or maybe the National Park Inn, rebuilt in 1926, and which is open year round. Both inns offer fine Northwest-American cuisine, rustic antique decor, and unbeatable views. Each Inn offers accommodation rates with and without bath.
From Seattle, take Interstate 5 south to Hwy. 7; Then Hwy 7 south to Elbe and Hwy. 706 East to the Nisqually Entrance to the park Admission fees apply.
- National/State Park
Silver Lake Trail at Mt St. Helens Visitors Center
If you wanter towards the rear of the Mount Saint Helens Visitor's Center, past the bathrooms and towards the water, you will find that a one mile loop trail has been constructed. This trail allows views of Mount Saint Helens (during good weather) and wildlife that uses the lake.
Part of the trail is gravel, and part of it is boardwalk. Much of it is through the wetlands of the lake, while other parts of it runs along the edge of the forest, where the forest joins the lake.
The wildlife seen here depends entirely on the noise and activity level and the time of year.
While part of the Mount Saint Helens Visitor's Center, it is also part of Seaquest State Park. It is briefly mentioned on both the Seaquest State Park web site and the web site for the Mount Saint Helens Visitors Center.
See my tip for the for the Mount Saint Helens Visitors Center on how to get here, as it is essentially part of the Mount Saint Helens Visitors Center.
- Hiking and Walking
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