<< Mount Rainier - The Skyline Trail - Part 2

08/06/23 - Mount Rainier - The Skyline Trail - Part 1

With access to our local national park restricted, we decided to make a quick trip to Mount Rainier. We don't live that far from Mount Rainier, so we decided to drive there, spend a night, take a hike in a new high country and then drive home. Mount Rainier is open, but access is tricky. We lucked out and got a room for one night at the Paradise Inn, so we didn't have to worry as much about parking or entry lines.

As it turned out, our plan worked. We rose early and were soon on the Skyline Trail heading up the slope with Mount Rainier and its streams and glaciers looming over us. It was a busy trail but beautiful. The flowers were blooming: lupins, mountain spiraea, bear grass and, inevitably, dirty sock plant. It was wonderful.

The country around Paradise at Mount Rainier is greener and wilder than the high country we are used to in the Olympic National Park. Those glaciers above melt and form rivers that seem to run everywhere, punctuated by dramatic waterfalls. There was less of a sense of exposure to wind and sun, but so much was familiar.

There were lots of hikers. Most were day hikers like us carrying a small pack or a bottle of water. Some were mountaineers with heavy packs and ice axes and clearly on their way to attempt climbing to the peak. There were quiet moments on the trail followed by hiking groups and family get togethers.

All told, our trip was a success. We made it to 1050' or so. Our GPS cut out as it often does and didn't restart until they launch a new satellite or the like. As we climbed, Mount Rainier grew closer and dominated the scene. It was spectacular, and we are already planning a return trip.

Mt. Rainier in the distance with clouds

The clouds constantly shifting

Another look up, now closer

Clouds, glaciers and mountain framed by greenery

Lush high country

One of the many streams

A little waterfall

Dramatic skies

Another dramatic view

A stretch of trail

Lush fields and other, lesser mountains

Those distant peaks

Pasque flowers

Another field of color

Yet closer to the mountain

Gray skies but only a light drizzle


More of Mt. Rainier

Buttermilk sky

There's a waterfall a bit left of the center.

That waterfall

More scenery

A stream down below

Keywords: flowers, high country, mount rainier