How to visit Mount Rainier National Park.?
After a week of traveling in Colorado and South Dakota , I went on an adventure a week later in Washington State and Oregon. With my travel mates , we chained the kilometers to discover the magnificent national parks of the northwest coast of the United States, starting with Mount Rainier ( Mount Rainier National Park ) located about 1h40 drive south of Seattle .
Like many of my trips to the US, it will remain engraved forever in my memory, especially since it was during this one that I met the person with whom I currently share my life, Alana . We had magical moments during this road trip through these splendid national parks.
Through this article, I will introduce you to Mount Rainier National Park between glaciers, lakes, waterfalls and fir forests. In addition to giving you practical information about the national park (best period, length of visit, etc.), I will guide you to organize your stay by separating the park into two:
1.Why shouldn’t you miss Mount Rainier National Park?
Named “Tahoma” by the Native Americans – “great snow-capped mountain”, Mount Rainier is an active volcano in the Cascade Range which extends from northern California to southern British Columbia, including Mount St. Helens, Mount Adams and Mount Baker . It culminates at 4392 meters above sea level ; for comparison, Mont Blanc reaches 4809 meters. It is the fifth highest peak in the United States when we do not take into account those present in Alaska. Its last eruption is very recent since it dates from 1894. It is a true icon of Washington State, visible for hundreds of kilometers around.
It is therefore a high mountain park as I like them with eternal snow and a very rich biodiversity. What’s more, it’s reputed to be more accessible than North Cascades National Park – its counterpart further north – and therefore relatively simple to discover. This is the opportunity to observe a summary of fauna and flora rather easily and in a relatively short time!
Ohanapecosh Visitor Center : located southeast of the park, usually open from late June to mid-September;Henry M. Jackson Memorial Visitor Center: located south of the park, open year-round but only on weekends from October to May;located in the northeast, generally open from July to mid-September.
Duration of the visit : one to two days.
Opening hours : the park is open all year round but as mentioned above, many entrances and roads are closed in winter. It is in summer that the park receives the most visitors. Visitor center hours can be found on nps.gov . Preparing for your visit to American national parks
III. When to visit Mount Rainier National Park.?
Mount Rainier being a high mountain national park with an altitude exceeding 4000 meters in some places. Summer is the best season to have full access to the park and to be able to hike, but it is also the time of the year when the crowds are at their highest; so plan to arrive before 10:00 a.m.! So many roads are closed from October to June . The month of September seems to me to be a good compromise between accessibility and less crowds.
I personally went there during the second half of July. We had the right to snow on one of the hiking trails we took, and not just a little! The temperatures were pleasant during the day (but not very high either) and cool early in the morning and in the evening. If you plan to go camping there, you should know that even in summer the nights are cold . Nevertheless, we were not particularly well equipped and we survived!
On nps.gov you will find a table which indicates the temperatures according to the months and the different places of the park.