One of the most magnificent sites around Seattle has to be Mt. Rainier! When flying into Sea-Tac Airport on a clear day, the experience of seeing it so close is just breathtaking. At a elevation of 14,410 ft., it is the highest peak in the Pacific Northwest. Mt. Rainier is one of a chain of the volcanic Cascade mountains including Mt. Hood, Mt. Baker and Mt. Adams. The fact that these are all "dormant" volcanoes was really news to me!
The Mt. Rainier National Park was established on March 2, 1899 by some far-sighted individuals the area offers sports such as hiking, snowshoeing, cross-country skiing and tours. Ranger programs are available for kids, and adults alike and are most worthwhile. (National park Rangers are really some of America's most valuable assets--take advantage of their knowledge and experience!!)
There are 4 Visitor Centers within the park, however, only 2 are open year round and 2 are open for the Summer months only (I advise seeing all 4.). There are also some cozy accommodations awaiting those who would like to enjoy this area for a longer period: Paradise Inn and the National Park Inn. Fast food is available at the Jackson Memorial Visitor Center and fine dining can be had at the Inns.
Entry fee if entering by bike or on foot: $5.00
Entry fee if entering by car: $10.00
Annual Pass: $30
the Biggest and most Majestic Peak of the Cascades Mountain range, Mount Rainer is fairly visible from Seattle but it is about 80 miles far in the Town of Ashford. It is right in the Middle of the The 368-square-mile Mount Rainer national park, which is the fifth National park named from the 1800's. Visitors come to the national park for a wide range of reasons, from experiencing its old growth forests that date back as much as 200 years, to appreciating its numerous waterfalls. There are more than 300 miles of trails spread across the park, including one that stitches the circumference of the mountain, more than 92 miles in total.
Hiking, photography, and camping are popular in the park. Hiking trails, including the Wonderland Trail, a 93 mile circumnavigation of the peak provide access to the backcountry. Mount Rainier is also popular for winter sports, including snowshoeing and cross-country skiing. In summer, visitors pass through vast meadows of wildflowers, on trails emanating from historic Paradise Inn. The park is open year-round. Winter visitors, however, should be well equipped and acquainted with the dangers of avalanche in backcountry areas.
The entrance fee is $15 for a private, noncommercial vehicle or $5 for each visitor 16 and older entering by motorcycle, bicycle, horseback, on foot, or for individuals traveling together as a non-commercial, organized group.
Paradaise Valley is located inside Mount Rainer National Park in Ashford Washington.
The name Paradaise really fits the description of the place.! MOUNT RAINIER The magnificent, 14,411-foot active volcano and historically a symbol of the quality of life in the Pacific Northwest... As we approached at the national park entrance, we were greeted with endless panoramic beauty of nature I never know existed! We then indulged oursleves to every point of interest and took pictures as if there is no tomorrow! Late in the afternoon we took a scenic drive a short way up the road that runs from Paradise past Reflection Lakes and Louise Lake to the rim of Stevens Canyon, where you can see some of the most stunning panoramic views of Mount Rainier.
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A great natl. park that is not as visited as most in the nation. It is only about 1.5 hours away from Seattle and is snow capped year round. Thought you can't see it all year (rain..cough..cough) when it is out is literally looms over the city.
On a clear day in Seattle you can see our glorious Mt. Rainier. If time permits a day trip to Rainier would be a wonderful Northwest experience.