Quick visit, quick post.
We left Eugene, OR with some schedule-catching-up to do. Our original plan was to spend a few days in Portland but we dropped that to make up a few days. Then, we opted to grab a campsite right off highway I-5 for a couple of nights and just take the Jeep up into the mountains to visit Mount Rainier National Park on a day trip. This would also help us get back on schedule while allowing us to see this park too.
We decided this would be a “drive through” type park visit so we didn’t even bring our hiking boots or extra water. Bad call. Definitely could have enjoyed some breathtaking hikes here if we had come prepared. Too bad, maybe we’ll come back some day?
This is our nation’s fifth national park, established on March 2, 1899. It includes 236,381 acres within its boundaries, more than 300 lakes, dozens of waterfalls, 25 glaciers, 50 permanent snow fields, is the tallest volcano in the Cascade Mountain Range reaching 14,410’ above sea level, is the most glaciated peak in the continental United States with rivers of ice up to 750’ deep flowing down its slopes and is still an active volcano.
We focused our visit on the southwest corner of the park, using the Nasqually entrance, stopping at the Longmire Museum and National Park Inn for some short walks and education before heading to the Paradise area. Here, we explored the Henry M. Jackson Visitor Center with its exhibits, shops and panoramic views of the Tatoosh Range on one side and Mount Rainier on the other before checking out the lobby at the adjacent Paradise Inn. This is a snowy place, as in many years more snow falls here than in any other place in the lower 48 states with an average annual snowfall of nearly 700”. A short hike to Myrtle Falls made for another great photo op here before driving a ways further down the park road for a picnic lunch at Reflection Lake before calling it a day.
That’s all folks,