by Diane Spicer
Mount Rainier hiking should be on your hiking bucket list, because it's some of the best hiking near Seattle.
There are multiple approaches to getting great views of this splendid volcano and its surrounding terrain.
In fact, Mt. Rainier National Park is broken into segments, and the hiking varies with the region you pick.
The Longmire entrance puts you on the road to Paradise (no, really!).
There you will find:
If waterfalls are your thing, don't pass up your chance to do a short 4 mile (round trip) day hike to Comet Falls.
The Sunrise entrance brings you to a more subdued visitor center, but mind blowingly gorgeous trails that get you up close and personal to some of Rainier's famous glaciers.
Either entrance gives you campground options.
Only the Longmire entrance provides "room and board" options:
Trying to drive all the way around the mountain in a day is a great way to miss what Mt. Rainier is all about.
Don't cheat yourself.
Your best weather window will be late July through early September.
Your Mt. Rainier hiking options include:
To get you started, here are 3 of my favorite Mount Rainier day hikes, and all the reasons why you should do them.
Because I'm a "local", I have a few tricks up my sleeve when it comes to hiking near, and on the flanks of, Mt. Rainier.
I'm ready to share a few with you right here!
1. Don't be intimidated by the crowds at Paradise and Sunrise.
2. Remember that you're hiking on an active volcano!
3. Avoid these "hot spots" unless you like company:
4. Bears are sighted frequently, and in my recent experiences, bears are becoming more numerous but are not aggressive.
5. Weather changes fast on Mt. Rainier hiking trails, and it's your responsibility to be prepared for snow, sleet, hail, lightning, extreme temperatures, sideways rain, and unrelenting hot sun.
6. You need trail head permits for backpacking, including assigned camp sites each night available via lottery.
7. If you're going to head to Mount Rainier, bring your own food if you don't want to pay the high prices at the snack shops and lodges.
Lots more hiking tips for dayhikers are to be found right here!
For complete trail descriptions, photos and videos of the best day hikes in Mount Rainier National Park, check these out:
Mount Rainier Hiking Tips
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