Mt Rainier

Mount Rainier National Park Travel Blog

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Neat bridge on a hiking trail

I drove through the park starting at the Nisqually Entrance.  I stopped for a short hike in a glaciated valley with neat bridges made from whole trees.  And I loved all the rocks everywhere.  I continued up the road, around each bend looking for the mountain top.  Can you see it? 

I looked at Narada Falls from the first vantage point. Hmm.  Not very impressive.  So I moved on, stopping at the Visitor Center.  I was quite impressed with the architecture.  There were those binocular viewing things and you could see people climbing up the mountain.  It was pretty neat.

I like pulling off the road at every turnout, because you never know what you'll be able to see.  And boy was I surprised when I got a look at Narada Falls from another angle!  It was HUGE! 

Next stop was at Reflection Lakes.

Ice on Reflection Lakes
  There weren't any cars here, so it must not have good viewing, but I stopped anyway.  Nope, not very good viewing because the ice was still on the lake!  But I caught one spot where the ice was melting and perfectly framed the mountain top.  I guess it was a good stop.

As I drove, I noticed all the valleys - both glaciated and carved by rivers - and also the rock slide channels.  Those channels left huge scars on the mountain that you could see from miles away!  And then when you get up close, you realize just how big they are!  Lets just say you wouldn't want your car where the channel crosses the road. 

I decided to head to Yakima for the night.  The plan was to hit Glacier on the way home.  I got part way to Yakima, only to find the road was closed!  A logging truck tipped over dumping a bunch of logs that blocked both lanes of the road.

Sunset over Mt Rainier
  Everyone had to turn around and head back.  I was a little grumpy - it was getting late and I needed to find someplace to camp.  But I was greeted with this gorgeous view of the sunset over Mt Rainier on the way back.  I finally pulled into a campsite near the park around 10 pm.  So much for my schedule. 

Once again, I know I want to return.  I just read about the floods in Nov 2006 that washed out a bunch of roads and campgrounds and utilities.  Crazy!  I wonder what it all looks like now?  Hwy 123 that I took to get out of the park now has a washout 70 ft deep?  Another spot on a highway washout drops hundreds of feet!  Scary!  I just hope they get everything fixed up and safe so people can get back to enjoying the park!

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Neat bridge on a hiking trail
Neat bridge on a hiking trail
Ice on Reflection Lakes
Ice on Reflection Lakes
Sunset over Mt Rainier
Sunset over Mt Rainier
Mount Rainier from hiking trail
Mount Rainier from hiking trail
U-shaped valley
U-shaped valley
Narada Falls - Looks like a small …
Narada Falls - Looks like a small…
Henry M. Jackson Memorial Visitor …
Henry M. Jackson Memorial Visitor…
View from the visitor center
View from the visitor center
Columnar Jointing
Columnar Jointing
Narada Falls - the other side - a …
Narada Falls - the other side - a…
Objects in the mirror may appear c…
Objects in the mirror may appear …
Rock slide channels
Rock slide channels
Mount Rainier National Park
photo by: Hummingbird