Mt Rainier National Park in 1 Day
Only have 24 hours to visit Washington’s iconic national park? Here’s how to make the most of it with my favorite hikes, where to see wildflowers, the coolest lakes, massive glaciers, and even a historic fire lookout!
9 Places • 6 Saves • ago
Free

Pro tip: spend the night in Ashford to get an early start!

Copper Creek Inn, Cabins, and Restaurant
@evangelea
Cute cabins at the base of Mt Rainier. Don’t leave without trying their blackberry pie!
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Morning

Reflection Lakes

Spend sunrise at Reflection Lakes in Mt Rainier National Park. Why sunrise? It’s when the landscape is at its calmest, which means it’s your best chance at a clear reflection. Bring a coffee, a blanket, and set up a chair at the lakes edge. It’s the perfect way to start the morning.

Reflection Lakes
@evangelea
Beautiful lakes on the side of the road. No hiking required! See it at sunrise for the best chance at a reflection.
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Paradise

6 min from Reflection Lakes

Backtrack just 6 minutes to Paradise–the most popular Mt Rainier hub–to hike the Skyline Trail. This is also a base camp for climbers planning to summit.

You don’t need to walk the entire loop to get a good feel for it, but if you have the time, highly recommend! It takes you past a waterfall and through alpine meadows, all the while with an impressive view of the volcano and it’s glaciers.

Skyline Loop Trail
@evangelea
Iconic 5.5-mile round trip loop hike on Mt Rainier that shows off the volcano in all its glory. You’ll pass by an impressive waterfall, and in spring you’ll be surrounded by gorgeous wildflower meadows filled with lupines, mountain heather, scarlet paintbrush (which is Mt Rainier’s flower to all us locals), cascade asters, and bistort.
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Afternoon

Grove of the Patriarchs

36 min from Paradise

If you love big old-growth trees and suspension bridges, take a minute to walk this short 1.5-mile round trip loop. They’re epic.

Grove of the Patriarchs Trail
@evangelea
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Tipsoo Lake

22 min from Grove of Patriarchs

This is a gorgeous alpine lake that’s again just off the side of the road. You can walk around it or drive to the far side to catch a glimpse of the east side of Mt Rainier over the lake on a clear day.

Tipsoo Lake
@evangelea
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If you have the time, I recommend walking the Naches Peak Loop for ample wildflowers in the spring and a couple more lakes on the way.

Naches Peak Loop Trailhead
@evangelea
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Evening

Sunrise - The Location ;)

41 min from Tipsoo Lake

Confusing, I know, but Sunrise is the visitor’s center on the north side of Mt. Rainier and offers some beautiful hikes that are vastly different than what you’ll find at Paradise.

Sunrise Visitor Center
@evangelea
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My rec? Hike the 5.7 miles RT to the Fremont Fire Lookout.

Washington’s fire lookouts are a big part of the state’s outdoors history. Some are still in use today! The hike takes you above the tree line, past a lake, and ends on a ridge looking west over the Cascades. Climb up the fire lookout, peek inside the windows and walk around the deck. The mountain looks huge from here!

Mt. Fremont Fire Lookout
@evangelea
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Optional: Glacier Basin Trail

This little-known 2-mile round trip hike reaps a massive reward: a blue Gatorade lake with a glacier in the distance! Just make sure you take a left at the fork at the 1-mile point. If you’re feeling up to it, hike the full 7.8 miles round trip that takes you eight up to the glacier!

(It’s a base camp for those summiting the mountain).

Glacier Basin Trail
@evangelea
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* * *
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Big on adventure, photography, and good vibes 📸
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Mt Rainier National Park in 1 Day
Only have 24 hours to visit Washington’s iconic national park? Here’s how to make the most of it with my favorite hikes, where to see wildflowers, the coolest lakes, massive glaciers, and even a historic fire lookout!
9 Places • 6 Saves • ago
Free

Pro tip: spend the night in Ashford to get an early start!

Copper Creek Inn, Cabins, and Restaurant
@evangelea
Cute cabins at the base of Mt Rainier. Don’t leave without trying their blackberry pie!
Add to
Details

Morning

Reflection Lakes

Spend sunrise at Reflection Lakes in Mt Rainier National Park. Why sunrise? It’s when the landscape is at its calmest, which means it’s your best chance at a clear reflection. Bring a coffee, a blanket, and set up a chair at the lakes edge. It’s the perfect way to start the morning.

Reflection Lakes
@evangelea
Beautiful lakes on the side of the road. No hiking required! See it at sunrise for the best chance at a reflection.
Add to
Details

Paradise

6 min from Reflection Lakes

Backtrack just 6 minutes to Paradise–the most popular Mt Rainier hub–to hike the Skyline Trail. This is also a base camp for climbers planning to summit.

You don’t need to walk the entire loop to get a good feel for it, but if you have the time, highly recommend! It takes you past a waterfall and through alpine meadows, all the while with an impressive view of the volcano and it’s glaciers.

Skyline Loop Trail
@evangelea
Iconic 5.5-mile round trip loop hike on Mt Rainier that shows off the volcano in all its glory. You’ll pass by an impressive waterfall, and in spring you’ll be surrounded by gorgeous wildflower meadows filled with lupines, mountain heather, scarlet paintbrush (which is Mt Rainier’s flower to all us locals), cascade asters, and bistort.
Add to
Details

Afternoon

Grove of the Patriarchs

36 min from Paradise

If you love big old-growth trees and suspension bridges, take a minute to walk this short 1.5-mile round trip loop. They’re epic.

Grove of the Patriarchs Trail
@evangelea
Add to
Details

Tipsoo Lake

22 min from Grove of Patriarchs

This is a gorgeous alpine lake that’s again just off the side of the road. You can walk around it or drive to the far side to catch a glimpse of the east side of Mt Rainier over the lake on a clear day.

Tipsoo Lake
@evangelea
Add to
Details

If you have the time, I recommend walking the Naches Peak Loop for ample wildflowers in the spring and a couple more lakes on the way.

Naches Peak Loop Trailhead
@evangelea
Add to
Details

Evening

Sunrise - The Location ;)

41 min from Tipsoo Lake

Confusing, I know, but Sunrise is the visitor’s center on the north side of Mt. Rainier and offers some beautiful hikes that are vastly different than what you’ll find at Paradise.

Sunrise Visitor Center
@evangelea
Add to
Details

My rec? Hike the 5.7 miles RT to the Fremont Fire Lookout.

Washington’s fire lookouts are a big part of the state’s outdoors history. Some are still in use today! The hike takes you above the tree line, past a lake, and ends on a ridge looking west over the Cascades. Climb up the fire lookout, peek inside the windows and walk around the deck. The mountain looks huge from here!

Mt. Fremont Fire Lookout
@evangelea
Add to
Details

Optional: Glacier Basin Trail

This little-known 2-mile round trip hike reaps a massive reward: a blue Gatorade lake with a glacier in the distance! Just make sure you take a left at the fork at the 1-mile point. If you’re feeling up to it, hike the full 7.8 miles round trip that takes you eight up to the glacier!

(It’s a base camp for those summiting the mountain).

Glacier Basin Trail
@evangelea
Add to
Details

* * *
CURATED BY
Big on adventure, photography, and good vibes 📸
Send A Tip
Support Eva Seelye’s work.
Select your tip amount
$5
$10
$20
$50
Or type in other amount
Powered by Thatch
The home for unique & authentic travel
Powered by Thatch: Where great trips are made.
© Eva Seelye Privacy Terms