Mount Rainier National Park encompasses the namesake peak: a 14,000-foot volcanic giant that looms large over Washington's pacific northwest. Climbing Mt Rainier is a career goal for many Cascade Range peak-baggers, but exploring the park's many miles of trail equally popular among the less alpine-inclined. If you are passing through Seattle, set aside a day for some Mt Rainier hikes. We recommend trying a section of the Wonderland Trail. If you do want to make it to the top of the mountain itself, plan accordingly; summit attempts can take up to 6 days to complete.
Circle Mother Mountain for nonstop views of Rainier and a whole bunch of cascades and flora. BY ELISABETH KWAK-HEFFERAN
Washington parks encourage visitors to get outside instead of shopping
These 9 miles of wildflower-studded meadow are among the best 100 miles of trail in the whole national park system.
Hike 6.5 miles on a lesser-traveled trail on the forested side of Paul Peak to the Wonderland Trail, then down to the banks of the Mowich River.
This ambitious 12.4-mile dayhike runs along a creekbed raged by two major floods, through fragile wildflower meadows, and visits a pod of backcountry lakes.
Traipse from lake to lake in Washington's high country.
Explore the once-bustling Carbon River Road by foot on this 11.2-mile hike that winds through mossy forest and visits a multi-tiered waterfall in Mount Rainier National Park.
Experience this world-class, glaciated peak in a day on an 8.4-mile out-and-back that climbs 4,600 feet to a high-altitude camp above the Muir Snowfield.
Three days is all you need for this memorable, 33.2-mile circuit on the northern flanks of Rainier, which connects Natural Bridge, the Yellowstone Cliffs, and Grand Park, a string of must-see landmarks bypassed by the Wonderland Trail.
On this 6.1-mile lollipop loop, you'll crest two summits on Burroughs Mountain, trace the Sourdough Mountains' ridgeline, and take in views of Mount Rainier, the Emmons Glacier, and 11,138-foot Little Tahoma Peak.