The next day we headed to Mt. Rainier: I fell in love. Rainier was one of those places that just instantly felt like home. We camped in the Ohonopecosh area - beautiful old growth forest, and waterfalls. Our site was quiet and peaceful, and the sound of water was all around us.
We spent the bulk of our time at Rainier in the Paradise area of the park. The view from Paradise, is well, Paradise. We also arrived just at the right time to see the alpine in bloom. We hiked the Nisqually Vista Trail which was mostly snow covered. The kids enjoyed the snow ball fights, and I enjoyed the vista. Another favorite at the Paradise area was the ranger programs in the lobby of the old hotel. They were our favorite programs of the entire trip - not only were the topics engaging, but I loved being surrounded by the hand hewn beams in this magnificent old lodge, and the kids loved that we bought them snacks.
We also really loved the Sunrise area of the park. This area is just as beautiful, but not nearly as crowded as Paradise. We spent the better part of the day hiking the Sour Dough Ridge Trail to Frozen Lake. The intense blue/green color of glacier fed waters will never cease to stun me.
|Our first view of real glaciers.|
|Box Canyon Falls|
I hope I get to return to Rainier someday. Next time I'm staying longer and hiking deeper into the back country. It's definitely best enjoyed on foot.