We have talked about the top national parks in Washington State and now it’s time to look at one of the most popular federal parks in the state – Mount Rainier.
Mount Rainier is a breathtaking national park and one of the finest places to go to in this part of America.
We were stunned when we took the time to come here.
The views are beautiful and the wildlife is going to surprise you too. If you go in the summer or early fall, you are not going to be disappointed.
For those who are coming to Mount Rainier from Seattle, it’s important to prep for the day trip. We have done this route and will know what it takes to have a great time.
Let’s take a look at how to get to Mount Rainier from Seattle.
How To Get From Seattle To Mount Rainier National Park
Let’s begin with the most important part of this guide.
How are you going to get from Seattle to Mount Rainier?
We planned our route and focused on planning a drive that would take around 150 minutes. This would take us to Paradise on Mount Rainier. You can make adjustments based on which section of the national park you want to go to.
To do this, you are going to want to take the I-5 South, which is then going to connect to Highway 167 South.
At this point, you are going to link with Highway 161 South and that’s going to connect to National Park Road.
This is going to take you to the park entrance.
The Best Time to Visit Mount Rainier National Park
Let’s assume you haven’t planned a trip to Mount Rainier and are thinking about making your way out here.
What is the best time to go to Mount Rainier?
We would recommend heading towards the end of fall as it is going to keep things simple and ensure you are away from the rush. Plus, you are also going to get to see the charming waterfalls and lakes here without worry.
How To Plan Your Trip To Mount Rainier National Park
When we were exploring the national parks in Canada, we often used to take the time to understand what our itinerary would be within the setting.
Why do we do this?
You won’t realize how big a national park is until you get there. These parks are massive!
We believe it’s important to prepare for a multi-day trip to Mount Rainier National Park from Seattle as that is how you are going to get to enjoy it.
You have to understand the national park is divided into sections. This includes Mowich Lake, Sunrise, Paradise, and Ohanapecosh.
A lot of people don’t realize but just getting between these sections will take a bit of time. It is not easy to go from point A to point B within the national park.
Paradise In Mount Rainier National Park
Most people are going to visit Paradise in Mount Rainier National Park and that’s what we recommend you should do as well.
It’s going to allow you to have a good time and understand the natural beauty on display in this part of America.
Why do we like Paradise?
It is a section in Mount Rainier that has it all. You are going to gain access to some of the most beautiful and interesting hiking trails that are going to take you to the alpine lakes and waterfalls. Just being here is going to take your breath away.
Tips To Go To Mount Rainier From Seattle
Go Closer To September
You should take the time to figure out what the best time to go to Mount Rainier is.
In our opinion, the best time to visit would be in the fall. The summer rush is going to be significant because both the locals and visitors are going to be in town. All of them are going to be sprawled around the park and it can become too busy.
Yes, it is a big national park, but you can enjoy the best views when you come in the fall. The weather is still good and you can have fun too.
Be Prepared To Lose Your Signal
When you are in such conditions, the chances of keeping your connection on your phone will become slim to none.
Don’t expect to have 100% connectivity because you won’t!
As a result, the first thing we would recommend doing is making sure everything you need during the trip to Mount Rainier is going to be accessible offline. This includes maps from Google Maps. It will save you a lot of trouble when you are heading to Mount Rainier or the national park.
Pack Your Food For The Trip
Don’t assume there will be accessible food at the national park because there won’t be.
It’s a park.
There will be open spaces and wildlife. Unless you are thinking of hunting on your own, which you are not allowed to do, you are going to need to prepare your food at home. This is going to keep things simple and the few available options are too pricey.
We do not recommend buying food at the national park.
This also means bringing water so you are hydrated during your time at Mount Rainier.
Plan The Route
A common mistake people make is to not plan the route.
This includes knowing which streets you are going to take when going from Seattle to Mount Rainier National Park.
A simple mistake such as this is going to confuse you because sometimes there will be issues along the way. Don’t allow this to happen and make sure you are aware of the traffic on these roads and which path you are going to take to Mount Rainier.
Fun Itinerary For Mount Rainier
We would recommend focusing on the beautiful views of Mount Rainier when you are at the national park and that’s going to include seeing Panorama Point.
As the name suggests, it’s a fascinating view and it’s going to allow you to enjoy the elevation of this national park. You are going to hike to this point and then you are going to loop back. It’s a delightful experience and it’s going to be spread across a few miles.
You are now going to want to enjoy the rest of the beautiful views at the national park.
This is going to include the heralded Mount Adams and Mount St. Helens views that are noticeable from here.
You are going to want to continue down the trail that will expose these views to you on a bright day. We went on a sunny day, so it was easy to spot these views as soon as we began walking around. It’s breathtaking.
You are going to want to spend time by one of the alpine lakes in the region.
This is going to come in the form of the Reflection Lakes.
Just being able to sit here by the water is going to be amazing. The view of the lake will always be worth it and we do recommend enjoying the view. s and you’ll find a great view of the valley with towering rocky peaks and some fun waterfalls.
It’s common for people to want to check out the waterfalls in the area.
This includes the Narada Falls in Mount Rainier.
We were impressed by how beautiful this was as soon as we began walking along the trail that leads to the waterfall. You are going to notice the Paradise River trickling along and it’s going to lead to the charming Narada Falls.
You can take nice photos here.
We were exploring the region and noticed people heading towards Comet Falls.
This was a unique experience because this is one of those waterfalls you are not going to be aware of but it is quite charming under the sunlight.
It is going to take a bit of time to get to Comet Falls because it is a long hike. However, we guarantee it’s going to be worth it as soon as you are here.
These are the top things to do for those who want to go to Mount Rainier from Seattle.
Amanda Harper is a travel enthusiast with 10+ years of traveling experience across the planet. Her passion for writing and travel makes her a walking bibliography on modern-day tourism.