On our last day with J’s family visiting this summer, we decided to head down to Mount Rainier National Park, one of my favorite places in Washington! I absolutely love the trails around Paradise Visitor Center, so we were excited to go to Mount Rainier with the kids. They did such a great job on other hikes on this trip – to Snoqualmie Falls, Rattlesnake Ledge, and Marymere Falls, so we were excited to get one last hike in with them at Mount Rainier.
There was still a fair amount of snow on the ground for late June – we actually were at Mount Rainier this exact same day last year, and the fields were filled with wildflowers! We stopped in at the Visitor Center to check with the rangers on what trails would be best that day. They told us that the Skyline trail was still snow-covered up toward Panorama Point, but that we could at least make it part of the way up. The full loop is about 5.5 miles total and has 1450 feet of elevation gain. The area by the visitor center is full of trails criss-crossing each other, so pick up a map before you head out in order to find your way. The trails are the steepest right by the visitor center, but after about 0.4 miles it levels out.
We started first by heading out to Myrtle Falls, which is about a half mile from the Visitor Center and gives a great view of the mountain along with an impressive waterfall. When you’re leaving from the Visitor Center, follow the trail furthest to the right and you’ll see signs pointing you to the waterfall.
The kids were so excited to stop and make snowballs at every patch of snow we came across!
Love this shot of J and his sister 🙂
Here’s the view into the valley to the right of the trail to Myrtle Falls.
Here’s a shot of Myrtle Falls.
And another view from the bridge right above the falls.
We went a bit further up the trail but we were hiking through snow at that point and weren’t sure we could go much further.
So we headed back toward the Visitor Center and followed the trail that headed straight up toward the mountain. If we’d been able to continue and do the full Skyline loop, this is the path we would have come down from Panorama Point.
It was a lot of work hiking up in the snow!
I’m not sure how far we actually went, since we couldn’t make the full loop. But we got a great look up close at the mountain and gorgeous views of the surrounding Cascades.
The kids did great on this trail at Mount Rainier. We weren’t really prepared for hiking in the snow, so there was a lot of slipping and sliding, but they had so much fun with it, and it was an experience we’ll never forget!
This is one of my favorite shots from the day – lots of laughter and playing in the snow!
The kids even found an area on the way down to go “sledding” (no actual sleds, just sliding down a hill in their clothes lol).
All in all, it was the perfect day at Mount Rainier!
Another one of my favorite places to visit near Paradise Visitor Center is Narada Falls. There’s a parking lot right off the road on the way up, and the falls are just a short walk from there. J and I have been to see these falls in many different times of the year, and each time it looks totally different! This day it was booming with all the snow melt, and the spray was soaking the path right next to it! We stopped long enough to get a quick selfie and then headed on our way home.
Want to see more of the Skyline Trail? Check out this post to see the wildflowers booming!
For more posts on Mount Rainier and other great trails in the area, visit my Mount Rainier travel guide page.
And for a complete guide to Washington hikes and sights, check out my Washington travel guide.