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5564, Mount Rainier with Indian Paintbrush, Green Folliage and Fog
Many more pictures below the article.
Rainier National Park is one of our favorite National Parks. My top five national parks are listed directly below this article. They list also has links to picture pages.
The best time to visit Rainier National Park is around the first of August. Most of the snow will be gone, the wildflowers will be blooming and most of the trails passable.
I called Rainier the first week of June this year and the helpful ranger told me that Paradise and all of the higher (and most dramatic ) parts of the park were currently under 12 to 15 feet of snow. The ranger said that most of this snow would be melted out by mid-July or early August. I'm guessing that August first, give or take a week or so should be perfect. You might give the Park a call to check on conditions however, This was a very heavy snow year in Rainier and who knows what is going on up there. In June there was a lot of avalanche and flood damage but I suspect that is all repaired by now.
My two favorite parts of the Park are the Paradise and Sunrise areas. Paradise is on the South side of the Park and Sunrise on the North side. Paradise is the most heavily visited part of the part, but it is very much worth spending some time there. Paradise has some great trails; some are short and easy and some are hard and long and go all the way up to the very base of Rainier. Here you will find many, many meadows crowded with some of the best Wildflowers I have ever seen, as well as tons of beautiful waterfalls.
The Sunrise area of Rainier is more of the same. It is the highest part of the Park and usually filled with gorgeous wildflowers in August and magnificent, sweeping views anytime.
My favorite campground is Cougar Rock just below Paradise.
A favorite hike of ours is the Bench Lake and Snow Lake Trail. Snow lake is full of deep green glacier water, often has floating icebergs in early season, and is surrounded by towering, jagged peaks. Be sure to slather yourself well with bug repellent before going on this hike. The black flies are voracious there.
Nearby to Rainier are the Gifford Pinchot National Forest, Mount St Helens and Ridgefield National Wildlife Refuge. And also one of the best cities in America, Seattle.
In my opinion, Rainier is as good as the Tetons, almost. Any way, it's one of the best of our national parks and one that I deeply love.
Fred, Jeff and Joan Hanselmann
Fred Hanselmann photographing in Colorado
Jeff Hanselmann in the Wind Rivers
Joan Hanselmann in Glacier National Park
Fred, Joan and Jeff Hanselmann