Mount Rainier in Ashford, Washington is the fifth National Park in the United States. 

In this post, find out what there is to see and do there and which seasons are best for a visit. 

Mount Rainier National Park 

mountain view of Mt. Rainier National Park in Washington

Located about an hour out from Seattle, Mount Rainier is among some of the oldest parks in the National Park registry. It was established in 1899 and well over 90% of the park is considered wilderness. That’s why it’s protected under the National Wilderness Preservation System. 

Like Yellowstone, Mount Rainier is also a volcano. Although, they are different kinds. Yellowstone is what’s called a “supervolcano”, and Rainier is a “stratovolcano”, meaning it is built from multiple layers of lava and ash. While it is an active volcano, it hasn’t erupted in a 1,000 years. 


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Trying to get the perfect wildflower photo with a mountain backdrop?⁣ ⁣ Don’t be a meadow stomper. Stay on Trails. It is possible to stay on the trail and take those Insta worthy shots. 📸 Like this shot taken on the Silver Forest Trail near Sunrise. ⁣ ⁣ Remember: Hikers are required to stay on trail in the heavily used Paradise, Sunrise, and Tipsoo Lake meadows. Please choose a spot for a lunch stop carefully. Avoid fragile flower fields and stream and lake banks.⁣ ⁣ What is your favorite flower to photograph? ⁣ ⁣ Want to know what flowers you are photographing? Check out the wildflower guide – link in story⁣ ———————⁣ NPS Photo | S. Siegers ~bb⁣ ⁣ #wildflowers⁣ #mrnp #mountrainiernps #nps #findyourpark #pnw #encuentratuparque #departmentofinterior #nationalparkservice

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It’s no secret Washington is one of the rainiest states in all of the U.S- along with Mississippi, Louisiana, and Florida. So, it shouldn’t come as a surprise that for most of the year inside of Mount Rainier National Park, visitors should expect (and dress for) potential rainfall.

For dryer and warmer weather, and wildflowers too, July and August tend to be better months. For this reason, it’s considered peak season in the park and some congestion is to be expected. So, if you do plan to visit during that time, consider taking a mid-week trip when there is less foot traffic. Also, make sure to pack a raincoat or umbrella just in case, as rain showers can still happen. 

Things to Do 

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On this #waterfallwednesday let’s explore Silver Falls! Early summer is a great time to visit Silver Falls as it rages with snowmelt and discover the logs left behind by previous flooding on the Ohanapecosh River. To explore Silver Falls take the 2.7-mile, moderately – strenuous round trip – Silver Falls Loop Trail – heading up one side of the Ohanapecosh River and down the other. Hikers can access the loop from two trailheads in the Ohanapecosh Campground-either at Loop B (near the visitor center), or across the Ohanapecosh River near the campground amphitheater. NPS photo | B. Burnett ____________________________ #mountrainiernps #waterfall #mrnp #nps #findyourpark #encuentratuparque #pnw

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Enjoy hiking, camping, climbing and even a museum during your visit. 

Permits to hike for a one-day visit are not required. However, you will need to obtain one if you plan to stay overnight at a campsite. You can get yours at any of the ranger stations inside the park, or at the Longmire Museum

Paradise and Sunrise are two of the most popular points at Mount Rainier. Which means, they will be busier. They’re still absolutely worth a visit.

But, for other equally breathtaking sites that are more off the beaten path, refer to this guide on their website. It includes stops at Rainforest Nature Trail, Old Mine Trail, Silver Falls Trails, Box Canyon, Reflection Lakes, multiple campgrounds and even a historic walking tour. 

Safety First

 Exploration is always great, but remember your safety is what is most important. Dress appropriately with comfortable shoes, pack snacks, plenty of water and travel with a buddy. Or, at least let someone know about your plans. Also, know what to do if you encounter any wildlife, be aware that weather conditions can change at any time, and familiarize yourself with what “geohazards” are.