Top 5 Mt. Rainier Viewpoints
Some Of Our Favorite lookouts
Heading to Portland, Seattle or anywhere in the Pacific Northwest and you will want to see Mount Rainier. One of the most note-worthy sights is hard to miss. On a clear day Mt. Rainier stands watch over Seattle and is a must see for any visitor. Mount Rainier rises 14,410 feet above sea level. As an active volcano, the mountain draws thousands of visitors every year. Here are some of the best spots to see Mount Rainier.
Crystal Mountain, Mt. Rainier Gondola
The sunrise side of Mt. Rainier offers visitors the chance to see the mountain in a memorable way. Located at the Crystal Mountain Resort, the Mt. Rainier Gondola allows visitors to enjoy the breathtaking views of the mountain during a 10-minute gondola ride. Offered seasonally (June – September and November – April), the rides give a bird’s eye view of both the Crystal Mountains and Mt. Rainier. Gondolas can seat up to 8 people, making it a perfect afternoon outing for residents and visitors. The ride ends at the summit of Crystal Mountain (6872’), and you step out of the gondola into a 360-degree panoramic view of the Cascades.
Mount Rainier National Park
Just outside Seattle, Mt. Rainier National Park is full of trails, wildlife and other landscapes that beckon hikers, nature enthusiasts and explorers. The protected land is home to hawks, songbirds, and other wildlife observant visitors may spot. The crowning feature of the park, however, is the stunning views of Mt. Rainier. While there are multiple places to catch a glimpse of the 5th tallest mountain in the lower 48 states, we have a few favorites.
Within the boundary of Mt. Rainier National Park, Reflection Lake is a perfect location for photographers to capture iconic images. Snow covered peaks are reflected across the water, and sunrise highlights the crevices of the mountain in all its glory. A short drive from Paradise Inn, it’s easy to make the trip for sunrise viewing of Rainier.
The lake provides another perspective of mountain reflection. While stunning at any time, it is particularly beautiful at sunset. Near the Chinook Pass summit, Tipsoo has multiple parking areas, each leading to different angles and viewpoints of the mountain. The rocks surrounding the lake are home to sheep that can sometimes be spotted climbing the mountainside.
Perhaps one of the most recognizable images of Mt. Rainier, the view of Mt. Rainier keeping watch over Myrtle Falls is spectacular. Dropping 80 feet through the Edith Creek gorge, the Falls are a favorite spot for families. Walking trails are paved, with gentle slopes that have gorgeous views of the countryside.
People often say the journey is the destination. When you’re heading to Mt. Rainier, you’ll realize they’re right. Chinook Byway to the north and White Pass Scenic Byway to the south give car-ride sightseers amazing views of the beautiful landscape. The roads wind through communities, river valleys and national forests as they circle the mountain. Picture-perfect views wait around every turn in the road.
Tolmie State Park
Tucked alongside Puget Sound, Tolmie State Park provides incredible views of the mountain. As visitors approach the Sound, the mountain appears to loom out of the water. Trails for hikers and beach access make this one of the best spots to see the beauty of Rainier.
It’s hard to choose the best sightseeing location of Mt. Rainier. The same location looks completely different at various times of the day. Different angles offer different perspectives, and the surrounding landscape changes the look of the mountain as you move from lakes to fields of flowers. No matter where you’re headed, make sure to take along your camera to snap a few picture.