Monday, October 22, 2018

Day Trip: Fall at Paradise, Mt. Rainier National Park

Fall colors at Paradise

Last weekend 2 of my good guy friends from California came for a weekend visit. Them being from California and not having a true fall, what better place to take them than to Mt. Rainier National Park and on a perfect fall weather day?

Paradise, WA
Mt. Rainier National Park

Location: Southwest corner of the park
Distance from Lynnwood, WA: 125 miles (about 2 hrs and 35 min one way without any stops)
Miles walked: 4 miles
Time spent at Paradise: 4-5 hours

I woke the guys up early that Saturday morning so we could hit the road and beat the crowds. Well that didn't really happen because we made so many stops on our way to Rainier, it took us closer to 4 hours to get there, rather than the estimated 2.5 hours I had given us. Oh well, I tried and the guys didn't seem to mind the crowd. We got to the park around 11:00 AM.

The line into the national park wasn't too outrageous. I think we waited about 15-20 minutes to show them our park pass and then we were on our way to the Henry M Jackson Visitor Center. We parked in the overnight lot and walked over to the visitor center. We opted to get our hike on first and then afterwards walk around the visitor center.

 Phil B in the wild 
Nature walk near the lodge
 1st timers at Mt Rainier NP!
Myrtle Fall

I dragged Andrew and Phil B towards Myrtle Falls first since that was high on my to-see list. Then we back tracked to Alta Vista Trail, and while doing this we had 2 bear sightings! One of them disappeared right away, but the other sat 10 feet away from the paved ADA trail munching on berries and ignoring the crowds he/she was drawing. This was definitely a highlight of our day trip. We took some photos and videos, watched the bear for a little longer, then kept hiking along.

After wandering the trails a bit at the base of Rainier, we walked around the visitor center briefly, and then headed back to the car.

I packed a simple and easy picnic for us, so we decided to head over to the picnic area that you pass right before you pull into the visitor center. I packed some instant noodles, Beecher's Cheese, prosciutto, Ritz crackers, & chips. We soaked in the good weather, ate, and headed back to the city.

For out-of-towners who aren't interested in long miles hiking but still want to see Mother Nature, I felt like this itinerary was a good compromise. The drive was longer than they wanted, but once there, seeing Mt Rainier up close like that, tends to make people forget how long the drive truly was.

Twas a good time.

Until next time Mt. Rainier!

 Next Rainier Beer model, what do you think?
 What a perfect day to be at Rainier!
Beer Thirty
 Don't get lost you two!
 Fall colors
 The guys having a grand ol time!
 Bear sighting!
 Fall sure is pretty at Rainier!
 From high school and college until now, love these two!
 Andrew and Phil B
Necessity: always carry a pack of Trolli gummies with you hiking
Our view from the picnic area, I highly recommend!

No comments:

Post a Comment