I loved REI’s OptOutside campaign this year, encouraging everyone to spend Black Friday enjoying the outdoors rather than standing in line at the mall. The weather has been unusually sunny and clear lately, so J and I decided to head up to Paradise Visitor Center at Mount Rainier for the day – one of my favorite places!
Mount Rainier was so pretty, all covered in snow! We unfortunately didn’t think to bring snowshoes (or rent them in the town just outside the park!), so we didn’t venture very far from the parking lot, but this view was good enough for me! The last couple times we’ve been to Paradise (read about them here and here) we were so excited to hike that we didn’t really spend much time in the Visitor Center. This time we stopped to watch the 20 minute video about the history of Mount Rainier and what makes it so special. I highly recommend taking the time for this next time you’re there, it was a great video!
A few things in mind for winter trips to Mount Rainier and/or mountains in general:
- All vehicles are required to carry chains in your car between November 1 and April 1. Even if your car is all-wheel drive, you have to have them in the car!
- The road up to Paradise Visitor Center had lots of black ice, so driving can be dangerous even if it’s not snowing. They were checking every car and wouldn’t let you drive up if you didn’t have chains.
- If you (like us) forget to put your chains in your car, there are several places in the town about 5 miles outside the entrance to the park that will rent chains to you for $15/day. Just give them your tire size and they’ll set you up! Just drop them off on your way back home! We were so glad to have this option when we realized we’d completely forgotten ours!
Anyway, back to the pictures! On our way back down from Paradise, we stopped at Narada Falls. We visited this waterfall back in June when my friend Janna visited. I loved seeing it in the winter, partially frozen!
It was a fun, short hike in the snow 🙂
The stairs were a little treacherous!
It was so peaceful out in the woods.
It was the perfect day to #OptOutside at Mount Rainier National Park!
How did you spend your Black Friday? I’d love to hear your OptOutside adventures! REI has some great resources for finding trails near you to explore all year round. Check out my favorite Washington hikes here!