Most Beautiful Hikes in Mount Rainier National Park

With a massive 14,411-foot glacier-covered volcano smack in the center of the park, it's no wonder that Mount Rainier NP is a drop-dead-gorgeous hiking destination!

Greg Heil

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Dan Streiffert

by Mt. Rainier from Spray Park

Creative Commons: Attribution
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Summerland Trail

by Shutterstock

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by Shutterstock

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Hiker: Christine Henry

by Greg Heil

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by Greg Heil

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by Greg Heil

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by Greg Heil

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by Greg Heil

Description

Mount Rainier soars to a sky-scraping elevation of 14,411 feet above sea level. And Rainier's location just a few miles from the Pacific Ocean makes that number even more significant: Rainier claims an incredible 13,210 feet of prominence, making it "the most topographically prominent mountain in the contiguous United States," according to Wikipedia. This also makes Rainier the tallest mountain in Washington State, the Cascade Range, and the Pacific Northwest.

More than a mere mountain peak, "Rainier is considered one of the most dangerous volcanoes in the world," according to Wikipedia. Since Rainier is the most glaciated peak in the lower 48, much of this danger is due to its massive amounts of glacial ice increasing the possibility of destructive mudflows. All of these factors—the massive prominence, the threatening volcano, and the expansive glaciers—combine to make Rainier an intimidating landscape.

Yet in spite of—or perhaps _because of_—this intimidating landscape, Rainier is also one of the most epic and beautiful adventure destinations in North America! Seemingly every hike offers jaw-dropping views of the soaring mountain peaks and the dwindling glaciers. But in addition, hikers will enjoy endless meadows filled with wildflowers, rushing mountain streams, rugged trails, and tumbling waterfalls.

Mount Rainier National Park offers enough adventure to fill a lifetime, but if you're looking to maximize the views on your upcoming trip to the region, try starting with one of the hikes from this list!

Sources:
Wikipedia.org
NPS.gov

Adventures

Wonderland Trail

A 93 mile (150 kilometer) hiking trail that circumnavigates Mount Rainier, one of North America's most iconic peaks.

Tolmie Peak

Hike past a sapphire blue lake to 360-degree views of Mount Rainier and the Cascade Range.

Glacier Basin Day Hike

Day hike to and from the Glacier Basin Campground—not the full mountaineering ascent to the summit of Rainier.

Naches Peak Loop

Enjoy stunning views of Mount Rainier National Park while circumnavigating Naches Peak.