Scenic USA - Washington

Mount Rainier National Park

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Mount Rainier from Lake Washington - Seattle, Washington

Photo by Jim Stiles
Jim Stiles Photography

   This Lake Washington view can't escape the magnificent Mount Rainier, still dominating the skyline from 50 miles away. The dramatic backdrop, simply referred as "the mountain" by the locals, Christine Falls - Mount Rainier National Park, WA is surrounded by one of Washington's favorite national parks. Located about two hours from Seattle, the Mount Rainier National Park has been popular since it was established over 100 years ago. The park is filled with exotic sights, including thundering waterfalls, cool mountain streams, immense trees, alpine meadows and all sorts of wildlife.
   Divided into five sections, the park offers amenities from the spartan to full spectrum. The Longmire area features a museum, hotel, restaurant and gift shop. Just east of Longmire, pullouts offer exceptional views of waterfalls, glaciers, and of course, "the mountain."
   Paradise is famous for its panoramic views from an elevation of 5,400 feet. This section houses the main visitor center, Big Trees - Mount Rainier National Park, WA the Paradise Inn and dining room.
   Ohanapecosh, located near the park boundary, is home to a visitor center, campground and picnic area. Here, the Grove of Patriarchs offers a mile long natural trail through a thousand year old forest.
   Sunrise, the highest drivable point in the park, sets the stage for breathtaking views of Mount Rainier and a line of peaks along the Cascade Range. The season is short at Sunrise, opening in late June and lasting until the first week of October.
   Carbon and Mowich are located in the northwest corner of the park, and offer a campground and picnic area. Here, a trail leads to Carbon Glacier, one of the largest and lowest in the continental United States. Mowich Lake is the largest and deepest lake in Mount Rainier National Park.

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