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Nisqually Vista Snowshoe at Mount Rainier National Park

Nisqually Vista Snowshoe at Mount Rainier National Park

“Although the Paradise area trails that radiate out from the visitor center are popular in any season, winter is when they really shine.” That’s the line on VisitRainier.com that led my dad and me to Mount Rainier recently. There are plenty of trails to choose from, but we recommend the Nisqually Vista snowshoe. You can find the Nisqually Vista trailhead near the entrance to the overnight parking lot, which is just short of the main Paradise visitor center parking lot (map). The drive takes about two and a half hours from Seattle, and you have to pay the daily national park entrance fee of $20 per vehicle. If you’re planning a Mount Rainier day trip, we suggest getting there early and staying as long as possible to really maximize your experience. During the winter, the gate at Longmire to Paradise opens at 9am and closes at 5pm. The Nisqually Vista snowshoe is an easy 1.8-mile loop that is well-marked by black and orange poles. There are some minor ups and downs,...

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Sunrise | A Great Mount Rainier Day Trip

Sunrise | A Great Mount Rainier Day Trip

There are several places you can head to on a Mount Rainier day trip: Longmire, Ohanapecosh, Paradise are a few visitor centers. But there’s something special about Sunrise. With magnificent views of the mountain, miles of hiking trails, and incredible meadows filled with wildflowers, Sunrise is a can’t-miss spot in Mount Rainier National Park. Located on the northeast side of Mount Rainier, Sunrise is a little more than two hours from Seattle. When Tove and I visited Sunrise, we were actually posted up at Crystal Mountain Resort for a short summer getaway. The drive from Crystal Mountain to Sunrise is only about an hour. I do need to give fair warning, though. Due to weather, the road to Sunrise typically opens in late June or early July and closes in late September to early October. That means there’s only a short window to enjoy the area. Click here to check the road conditions. The drive to Sunrise is impressive in its own right. There are a couple different stops...

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Crystal Mountain Resort |Summer Fun Near Mount Rainier

Crystal Mountain Resort |Summer Fun Near Mount Rainier

Crystal Mountain Resort is known for its winter activities. Skiers and snowboarders flock the mountain each year to enjoy the slopes. While it’s a great spot to visit during the winter, summer at Crystal Mountain Resort can be just as fun. With plenty of outdoor activities and a close proximity to Mount Rainier, it’s a great weekend getaway from Seattle. If you’re not great with your geography (like me!), Crystal Mount Resort is located southeast of Seattle and  it’s  about a two-hour drive from the city. The resort is also right next door to Mount Rainier National Park. It’s less than a 15 minute drive from the park entrance, making it the perfect location for people looking to spend a few days exploring the park. Tim and I stayed for a long, four-day weekend at Crystal Mountain Resort. We loved how easy it was to visit both Paradise and Sunrise visitor centers. The star attraction at Crystal Mountain Resort is the Mount Rainier Gondola. The roughly 10 minute ride takes you about 2,500 feet up...

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Paradise | Mount Rainier National Park Day Trip

Paradise | Mount Rainier National Park Day Trip

There are several areas to enjoy Mount Rainier National Park, but none is more popular than Paradise. Located on the south slopes of Mount Rainier at an elevation of 5,400 feet, there’s a good reason this place is called Paradise. During the summer, the area gives you stunning views of Mount Rainier, beautiful wildflowers, and awesome wildlife. There are a couple different ways to get to Paradise from Seattle. Driving to Paradise in the summer takes about two and half hours. You can cruise through Eatonville to the south or Enumclaw to the east. When Tove and I most recently visited Paradise, we were staying at Crystal Mountain Resort. Located east of Mount Rainier, Crystal Mountain Resort is a little more than an hour from Paradise. No matter what roads you take, the drive to Paradise is part of the fun. There are plenty of incredible views along the way. NOTE: The entrance fee for Mount Rainier National Park is $15 per vehicle (not per person). The single pass gives...

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