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Fantastic Mount Rainier Hiking: Grab Yourself
Some Hiking Joy!

Mount Rainier hiking should be on your hiking bucket list.

Here's why:

  • Mt. Rainier hikes offer a diversity of landscapes that you aren't going to find anywhere else in North America.
  • Mt. Rainier National Park provides paved access to some stunning trailheads. And if you want to work a little harder, you can drive on good gravel roads to some "hidden gems" trailheads.
  • Day hikes can be done easily from nearby campgrounds and cabins.
  • Backpacking trips are arranged easily, but require permits.
  • Where else are you going to see this?? It's fantastic!
Mount Rainier hiking in the fall is beyond gorgeous. And no biting insects!

Mount Rainier hiking: pick your spot

There are multiple approaches to getting great views of this splendid volcano and its surrounding terrain.

Mt. Rainier National Park is broken into segments, and the hiking varies with the region you pick.

The Longmire entrance brings you up to Paradise, with its

  • seasonally operated lodge and visitor center,
  • access to spectacular flower fields off paved pathways, and
  • trailheads galore to rock, snow, ice, lakes and viewpoints.

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, at Longmire or Paradise Lodge.

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. Budget several days at the bare minimum to soak up all the splendor.

Hiking options

Your Mt. Rainier hiking options include:

  • One fantastic day hike, or serial day hikes while staying at a lodge or campground in the park.
  • Serial day hikes, from the comfort of your base camp in a campground or a cabin outside the park boundaries.
  • Backpacking trip using the Wonderland Trail or various loops.

And check out my Youtube video to answer the question "How many critters can you spot on one Rainier dayhike?" - the answer might surprise you.

To get you started, here are 3 of my favorite Mount Rainier day hikes, and all the reasons why you should do them. Click the photo for details!

Day hiking at Mount Rainier National Park is a fantastic experience. Need some suggestions for the best day hike? Read Hiking For Her's top 3 must do hikes at Mt. Rainier.

A few Mt. Rainier hiking secrets

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. Once you get half a mile away from the visitor centers, you're on your way toward peace and quiet.

2. Remember that you're hiking on an active volcano! Sudden snow melts and glacial outbursts are possible.

3. Avoid the "hot spots" unless you like company:

  • Muir snowfield
  • Any short loop hike near a campground, such as Grove of the Patriarchs

4. Bears are sighted frequently, and in my recent experiences, bears are becoming more numerous but are not aggressive.They mind their own business, as you should.

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. Think ahead and be sure you have the right paperwork.

More secrets coming soon: Mount Rainier hiking videos on the Hiking For Her YouTube channel!

“Of all the fire mountains which like beacons, once blazed along the Pacific Coast, Mount Rainier is the noblest.” John Muir

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