Enjoy fantastic views on these easy, rewarding hikes in Mount Rainier National Park.
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.
While this formidable landscape is home to some of North America's most epic adventures, such as attempting to summit Rainier itself, you can still enjoy the region while skipping the death-defying climbs. In this guidebook, you'll find a roundup of easy yet rewarding hikes spread throughout the national park.
From short paved loops to slightly longer dirt trails, every single hike in this guidebook offers a much easier way to enjoy the grandeur of Mount Rainier than attempting to summit the monolith itself. Read through these descriptions, pick a few that sound good to you, and venture forth to explore this incredible landscape!