TWO DAYS IN PARADISE | Pacific Northwest 2015

August 30, 2015  •  Leave a Comment

PNW DAY 4-5 | Mt. Rainier National Park

Previous blog posts: Oregon Coast  |  Columbia River Gorge

Paradise. Can you imagine what it will be like? I'm sure our limited thoughts can only slightly compare to what true Paradise will be like as believers get to spend eternity with our Savior in Paradise. But graciously God has given us here on earth small glimpses of what Paradise will look like. I love to see the glory of God shown throughout nature and His creation. To me, there's just something very humbling and astonishing about a huge majestic mountain scene that testifies the power of God. I can say Mt. Rainier in the state of Washington has that impact.

Standing at 14,410 feet, Mt. Rainier is the 5th largest mountain in the contiguous United States. On the south side of this mostly glaciated volcanic peak, sitting nestled on a slope of wildflower meadows is the area called "Paradise". And it is rightfully named so. During wildflower season (July and August), Mt. Rainier National Park, particularly the Paradise section of the park, has said to be one of the most beautiful places on earth. This is also one of the most snowiest places on earth as they receive 643 inches of snow average per each year.

We had the privilege to spend 2 days in Paradise as we lodged in the historic Paradise Inn Lodge. I really love how the National Parks systems do their historic lodges. I highly recommend the Paradise Inn Lodge if you ever get the chance at staying there. Built in 1916, this historic wooden lodge is in a hub spot for plenty of hiking trails and wildflower meadows. However, don't think you'll need air condition if you plan to stay there, as each room comes without air condition. With it being one of the most snowy places on earth, who needs air condition? But during the warmer seasons you're perfectly fine "roughing it" with the windows open as you get to sleep with the fresh crisp air coming off the snow capped peak of Rainier.

 

PNW DAY 4  |  The Drive to Paradise and the Skyline Trail

After our night in Hood River, Oregon, we made our second longest drive of the trip as we drove north into Washington on the scenic HWY 141 through the Gifford Pinchot National Forest. The drive was about 3 and a half hours long to get to Paradise, but we stopped by a few scenic locations around Mt. Adams along the way. Unfortunately though, there was a wildfire going on near Mt. Adams so our scenic visibility wasn't the greatest. I was still able to get a beautiful morning shot of a waterfall and a gorgeous shot of Mt. Adams reflecting on a lake in the morning haze.

Gifford Pinchot National ForestGifford Pinchot National Forest Gifford Pinchot National ForestGifford Pinchot National Forest Gifford Pinchot National ForestGifford Pinchot National Forest Gifford Pinchot National ForestGifford Pinchot National Forest Gifford Pinchot National ForestGifford Pinchot National Forest Mt. AdamsMt. Adams

 

As we got closer to the last leg of our 3 and half hour drive, you began to see the majestic white peak of Mt. Rainier in the distance of our road. This was a marvelous scene to see as I have always wanted to see a snow capped mountain. My adrenaline was racing as we drove closer and closer to photo distance from Mt. Rainier as I was anxious to capture it's beauty. Finally we entered the National Park gates and made our very scenic ascent to Paradise. Our first destination along the way to the Lodge was the impossible-to-pass Reflection Lakes. It would be hard for someone to want to continue driving on without wanting to stop at this gorgeous location with Mt. Rainier reflecting in the pristine mountain lake. 

Reflection Lakes, Mt. RainierReflection Lakes, Mt. Rainier Reflection Lakes, Mt. RainierReflection Lakes, Mt. Rainier Reflection Lakes, Mt. RainierReflection Lakes, Mt. Rainier Reflection Lakes, Mt. RainierReflection Lakes, Mt. Rainier Reflection Lakes, Mt. RainierReflection Lakes, Mt. Rainier Reflection Lakes, Mt. RainierReflection Lakes, Mt. Rainier Reflection Lakes, Mt. RainierReflection Lakes, Mt. Rainier Reflection Lakes, Mt. RainierReflection Lakes, Mt. Rainier Reflection Lakes, Mt. RainierReflection Lakes, Mt. Rainier Reflection Lakes, Mt. RainierReflection Lakes, Mt. Rainier Reflection Lakes, Mt. RainierReflection Lakes, Mt. Rainier Reflection Lakes, Mt. RainierReflection Lakes, Mt. Rainier Reflection Lakes, Mt. RainierReflection Lakes, Mt. Rainier Reflection Lakes, Mt. RainierReflection Lakes, Mt. Rainier Reflection Lakes, Mt. RainierReflection Lakes, Mt. Rainier Mt. RainierMt. Rainier Mt. RainierMt. Rainier The Road to ParadiseThe Road to Paradise


After already some breathtaking views, we made our way to Paradise where we checked into the lodge. The rest of the afternoon we spend hiking on the 5.5 mile long Skyline Trail. This amazing trail takes you through multiple wildflower meadows with excellent views of Mt. Rainier that are hard to beat. Unfortunately, the wildflower season had unexpectedly peaked early this year so we were not fortunate to witness the abundance of color that would normally be present during this time. However, it was still a gorgeous place! Our hike took us all the way up to the 6,800 feet Panorama Point with excellent upclose views of glaciers on Mt. Rainier, and Mt. Adams and Mt. St Helens to the south off in the distance. With the warmer temperatures, it created multiple ice melt waterfalls all over Mt. Rainier, which reminded me of the fantasy like views of Yosemite National Park's valley. Enjoy the scenes as we hike the spectacular Skyline Trail on Mt. Rainier.

Mt. Rainier Skyline TrailMt. Rainier Skyline Trail Mt. RainierMt. Rainier Mt. Rainier Skyline TrailMt. Rainier Skyline Trail Mt. Rainier Skyline TrailMt. Rainier Skyline Trail Mt. Rainier Skyline TrailMt. Rainier Skyline Trail Mt. Rainier Skyline TrailMt. Rainier Skyline Trail Mt. Rainier Skyline TrailMt. Rainier Skyline Trail Mt. Rainier Skyline TrailMt. Rainier Skyline Trail Mt. Rainier Skyline TrailMt. Rainier Skyline Trail Mt. Rainier Skyline TrailMt. Rainier Skyline Trail Mt. RainierMt. Rainier Mt. RainierMt. Rainier Mt. RainierMt. Rainier Mt. RainierMt. Rainier Mt. Rainier Skyline TrailMt. Rainier Skyline Trail Mt. Rainier Skyline TrailMt. Rainier Skyline Trail Mt. Rainier Skyline TrailMt. Rainier Skyline Trail Mt. Rainier Skyline TrailMt. Rainier Skyline Trail Mt. Rainier Skyline TrailMt. Rainier Skyline Trail Mt. Rainier Skyline TrailMt. Rainier Skyline Trail Mt. Rainier Skyline TrailMt. Rainier Skyline Trail Mt. AdamsMt. Adams Mt. AdamsMt. Adams Mt. Rainier Skyline TrailMt. Rainier Skyline Trail Mt. Rainier Skyline TrailMt. Rainier Skyline Trail Mt. Rainier Skyline TrailMt. Rainier Skyline Trail Mt. Rainier Skyline TrailMt. Rainier Skyline Trail Mt. Rainier Skyline TrailMt. Rainier Skyline Trail Mt. Rainier Skyline TrailMt. Rainier Skyline Trail Mt. Rainier Skyline TrailMt. Rainier Skyline Trail Mt. Rainier Skyline TrailMt. Rainier Skyline Trail Mt. Rainier Skyline TrailMt. Rainier Skyline Trail Mt. Rainier Skyline TrailMt. Rainier Skyline Trail Panorama Point, Mt. RainierPanorama Point, Mt. Rainier Mt. Rainier Skyline TrailMt. Rainier Skyline Trail Mt. Rainier Skyline TrailMt. Rainier Skyline Trail Mt. Rainier Skyline TrailMt. Rainier Skyline Trail Mt. Rainier Skyline TrailMt. Rainier Skyline Trail Mt. Rainier Skyline TrailMt. Rainier Skyline Trail Mt. Rainier Skyline TrailMt. Rainier Skyline Trail Mt. Rainier Skyline TrailMt. Rainier Skyline Trail Mt. Rainier Skyline TrailMt. Rainier Skyline Trail Mt. Rainier Skyline TrailMt. Rainier Skyline Trail Mt. Rainier Skyline TrailMt. Rainier Skyline Trail Rainier ChimpunkRainier Chimpunk Rainier ChimpunkRainier Chimpunk Rainier ChimpunkRainier Chimpunk Rainier ChimpunkRainier Chimpunk Rainier MarmotRainier Marmot Rainier MarmotRainier Marmot Rainier MarmotRainier Marmot Rainier MarmotRainier Marmot Mt. Rainier Skyline TrailMt. Rainier Skyline Trail Mt. Rainier Skyline TrailMt. Rainier Skyline Trail Mt. Rainier Skyline TrailMt. Rainier Skyline Trail Mt. Rainier Skyline TrailMt. Rainier Skyline Trail Mt. Rainier Skyline TrailMt. Rainier Skyline Trail Mt. Rainier Myrtle FallsMt. Rainier Myrtle Falls

 

 

After hiking the amazing Skyline Trail, here are some of the views at sunset from the Paradise Inn Lodge.

Paradise Inn LodgeParadise Inn Lodge Paradise Inn LodgeParadise Inn Lodge Paradise Inn LodgeParadise Inn Lodge Paradise Inn LodgeParadise Inn Lodge Paradise Inn LodgeParadise Inn Lodge

 

PNW DAY 5  |  Sunrise area of Mt. Rainier National Park

On our second day in Mt. Rainier National Park, we planned to go to the section of the National Park that is said to have the most scenic drive and views of Mt. Rainier. The area is called "Sunrise" as it is a perfect location for the sunrise, however we did not plan to get up there that early as it was about a 1 and half hour drive from Paradise. But we did plan to watch the sunset at Sunrise!

Our day 2 in Mt. Rainier didn't provide as beautiful skies as our first day. Due to the numerous wildfires throughout the state of Washington, we experienced a hazy day in the park. Again, this did not affect the pure beauty that this place has no matter what.

On the way to Sunrise, we did the Grove of the Patriarchs trail which took us through an old growth forest of some of the oldest and largest trees in the park. Below is the suspension bridge over a beautiful turquoise river we had to cross. Then we also made another stop for a morning view of the Reflection Lakes. Following that up, we stopped at the beautiful Tipsoo Lake for an outstanding view of an alpine lake and the dramatic mountain scene.

Then finally once we reached Sunrise, we spent the rest of the day enjoying the beautiful scenery and trails this side of the National Park had to offer. We did the roughly 4 mile trail from the parking lot to Dege Peak which stood at 7,006 feet offering breathtaking panoramic views. Then we witnessed the sunset along Emmons Vista to wrap up our time at Mt. Rainier National Park.

For it's pure beauty and majestic views, this National Park will always be one of my favorites. I hope to return again someday.

 

Grove of the Patriarchs BridgeGrove of the Patriarchs Bridge Grove of the Patriarchs BridgeGrove of the Patriarchs Bridge Reflection Lakes, Mt. RainierReflection Lakes, Mt. Rainier Reflection Lakes, Mt. RainierReflection Lakes, Mt. Rainier Reflection Lakes, Mt. RainierReflection Lakes, Mt. Rainier Reflection Lakes, Mt. RainierReflection Lakes, Mt. Rainier Tipsoo Lake, Mt. RainierTipsoo Lake, Mt. Rainier Tipsoo Lake, Mt. RainierTipsoo Lake, Mt. Rainier Tipsoo Lake, Mt. RainierTipsoo Lake, Mt. Rainier Tipsoo Lake, Mt. RainierTipsoo Lake, Mt. Rainier Tipsoo Lake, Mt. RainierTipsoo Lake, Mt. Rainier Tipsoo Lake, Mt. RainierTipsoo Lake, Mt. Rainier Tipsoo Lake, Mt. RainierTipsoo Lake, Mt. Rainier Tipsoo Lake, Mt. RainierTipsoo Lake, Mt. Rainier Tipsoo Lake, Mt. RainierTipsoo Lake, Mt. Rainier Mt. Rainier National ParkMt. Rainier National Park Mt. Rainier National ParkMt. Rainier National Park Mt. Rainier National ParkMt. Rainier National Park Mt. Rainier National ParkMt. Rainier National Park Mt. Rainier National ParkMt. Rainier National Park Mt. Rainier National ParkMt. Rainier National Park Mt. Rainier National ParkMt. Rainier National Park Mt. Rainier National ParkMt. Rainier National Park Mt. Rainier National ParkMt. Rainier National Park Mt. Rainier National ParkMt. Rainier National Park Mt. Rainier National ParkMt. Rainier National Park Mt. Rainier National ParkMt. Rainier National Park Mt. Rainier SunsetMt. Rainier Sunset Mt. Rainier SunsetMt. Rainier Sunset Mt. Rainier SunsetMt. Rainier Sunset Mt. Rainier SunsetMt. Rainier Sunset Mt. Rainier SunsetMt. Rainier Sunset Mt. Rainier SunsetMt. Rainier Sunset

 

Stay tuned as Day 6 of our Pacific Northwest adventure takes an unplanned visit to Mt. Baker National Forest where I captured some of my favorite photos of the entire trip!

God bless,

 

 

 

 


Comments

No comments posted.
Loading...

Archive
January February March April May June (1) July (7) August September October November December
January February March April (1) May June July August (3) September (3) October November December
January February March April May June July August September October November December
January February March April May June July August September October November December
January February March April May June July August September October November December