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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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Pebble Creek Hike at Paradise on Mount Rainier

Pebble Creek Hike at Paradise on Mount Rainier

Mount Rainier National Park offers more than 260 miles of maintained hiking trails. That means the options are nearly endless when you’re searching for a day hike in the area. To say we’ve stomped every mile of every trail near Mount Rainier isn’t even close to the truth, but we still have our favorite adventure. The Pebble Creek hike at Paradise is easily one of the coolest hikes we’ve ever done, period. When Tove and I recently visited Paradise, we wanted a hike that put us as close to Mount Rainier as possible, and that’s exactly what we got. The rangers pointed us to Pebble Creek, which is located about 2.5 miles from the Henry M. Jackson Visitor Center. You can typically take the Skyline Trail to a junction that branches toward Pebble Creek, but the Skyline Trail was partially under construction when we were there. So instead, we started on Avalanche Lily Trail, went north on Deadhorse Creek Trail, and then eventually connected with the Skyline Trail. From...

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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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Emerald City Day Trip | Seattle Attractions Infographic

Emerald City Day Trip | Seattle Attractions Infographic

What would you do if you only had one day in Seattle? It’s a tough question to answer because there are so many incredible places to experience in the Emerald City. To help you narrow down your options, our friends at Marriott plotted out this great Seattle attractions infographic. It makes for a really fun Emerald City day trip. Take a look at what they’ve drawn together! With stops at Pike Place Market, The Great Wheel, the Boeing Airline Factory (we would offer up the Museum of Flight as a possible alternative), Mount Rainier National Park, and the Space Needle, the Seattle attractions infographic by Marriott features some of the top spots in the Emerald City. It even includes rides on a Washington State Ferry and the Seattle Monorail. It’s tough to beat that! We do want to point out that the time frame on the Seattle attractions infographic is pretty misleading. While Mount Rainier National Park should be on your list of things to do around Seattle, it’s tough to include that trek in a day trip. Mount Rainier National Park is more...

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