One of the most visible natural features in Western Washington is Mount Rainier. This is part of the Cascade Mountains. One of the largest Washington mountains at more than 14,000 feet, Mt Rainier soars thousands of feet over surrounding peaks, and is visible from hundreds of miles away on a clear day. The base of Mount Rainier alone spreads over an area of 100 square miles. The scenic area around Rainier has been a national park since 1899, and covers more than 230,000 acres, making this one of the largest Washington State parks.
Visitors to Washington State often don't know that Mt Rainier is actually a dormant volcano. Over 35 miles of ice and snow cover the summit of Mt Rainier Washington, so at any time of year, the mountain glows white or reflect the changing colors of the sunrise or sunset. Rainier is an easy drive from Seattle, being only 68 miles south. You can enter Mount Rainier National Park year round from the southern entrance, while the entrance in the north is only accessible based on weather conditions.
While it's great to enjoy the views of the ice-covered summit of Mt Rainier, you can't really explore the mountain fully unless you're an experienced climber. Nonetheless, the towering giants of the old growth forests or colorful wildflower meadows with views of the peak are just as rewarding.
The Pacific Northwest is filled with summits and towering peaks, and Mt Rainer is an impressive example of the type of scenic vistas you can enjoy on a Washington State vacation. A peak as large as Mt Rainier did not escape the attention of the native tribes that lived in this area of the Pacific Northwest. The Puyallup, Yakima, and Muckleshoot tribes were just some of the tribes that would hike to Mount Rainier in the summer to hunt elk and bear and camp at berries fields they would pick at, which were as high as 3,000 feet.
Paradise Inn - Mt Rainier
Mount Rainier does not have a tourism infrastructure as developed as some of the ski resorts in the state, but there are still places to stay if you want to spend a day or two exploring the enormous park. There is a lot of variety in Mt Rainier lodging options, but the accommodations are often in a lodge or a rustic cabin setting, reflecting the scenic location.
Near the town of Paradise, the Westwood Chalet has clean, reasonably-priced accommodations. Set amidst the shade of trees, the there are plenty of different room configurations to accommodate your group, no matter the size. There are separate living and bedroom areas, all of which have futons, so if you're traveling with family or just want to enjoy an intimate time with your close friends, this is an excellent choice if you"re looking for Mt Rainier lodging.
Busy from both visitors to the ski resorts such as Crystal Mountain and Rainier itself, the Alta Crystal Resort is busy year-round. From late spring to early fall visitors to the mountain stay here for its comfortable suites in a Swiss Chalet setting. There is a romantic honeymoon cabin that has a cozy fireplace and a full kitchen for those intimate home cooked breakfast. If you're looking for something more luxurious, the Alta Crystal Resort is a good choice of Mt Rainier lodging. Aside from activities around Rainier, you can return here and enjoy a barbeque and a bonfire in the evening, or relax in the hot tub or the pool.