Last weekend’s adventure took us back to beautiful Mount Rainier. Two of my good friends, Chris and Kate, were visiting, and it was a weekend full of laughter and catching up with the two of them. I wanted to show them my favorite parts of my new city, which included getting some hiking in!
We picked the Skyline Trail, which leaves from Paradise Visitor Center.
It’s a 6 mile loop and started out by winding through beautiful meadows of wildflowers. I loved these blue ones! (After consulting our field guide when we got home, I now know these are Broadleaf Lupine)
It smelled wonderful hiking through all these wildflowers! Now we know where they get the scent for all those “Spring Meadow” candles!
About a half mile in we passed this beautiful view of Myrtle Falls.
Just a short way down the trail we saw a crowd of people taking pictures, so we hurried over and saw this black bear! I was so surprised to see one this close to the trail – luckily he did not seem too interested in us and mostly was just eating the grass and wildflowers. I got several pictures of him with his head down eating, so all we could see was the top of his back. I commented that I just needed him to raise his head so we could see his face, and right then he looked straight at us! Thanks for cooperating with my photoshoot, Mr. Bear! I still can’t believe we saw a bear this close! It was one of the highlights of our day.
This was Kate’s second hike ever, and she did great! Hopefully she’s caught the hiking bug now 🙂 As Chris says, “Hiking is just walking outdoors!”
We had so many great views of Mt. Rainier through the entire hike!
We also had great views of the rest of the Cascade range. We were thankful for the clouds providing some protection from the hot sun!
At one point we stopped for a water break and realized we could see Mt. St. Helens in the distance!
There was still a fair amount of snow on the trail that we had to hike across.
Loved this little stream that had cut a tunnel through the snow!
A little further on we were able to see Mt. Adams in the distance too.
In the distance is Panorama Point, where we were heading.
The last section of the trail across to Panorama Point was a path that cut through a giant snow bank.
We hadn’t brought hiking poles, so we just carefully took small steps all the way across.
Us and the view from Panorama Point! Mt. Adams and Mt. St. Helens were both peeking out above the rest of the mountain range, but the clouds made it tough to see them clearly. On a really clear day you’d be able to see Mt. Hood as well!
After Panorama Point, the trail started to loop back down to the Visitor Center.
Kate and The Mountain – “She is out, and she is gorgeous!” (Comment overheard about Mt. Rainier 🙂 )
The clouds started to break up and we got some blue skies back for the end of our hike. I will never get tired of taking pictures of this mountain!
Special thanks to J for carrying all our water for us! You’re the best! 🙂
Loved this waterfall on Mt. Rainier…
It was such a great day of hiking with wonderful friends!
And we finished the hike through more beautiful fields of wildflowers.
All-in-all, it was another perfect day of hiking at Mt. Rainier. Cannot recommend this hike enough – it’s a great length and medium difficulty, perfect for both new and experienced hikers!
Distance: 6 miles
Elevation Gain: 1400 feet
Location: Mt. Rainier
Looking for another hike near Mt. Rainier? Check out the Narada Falls to Reflection Lakes loop.
Looking for other Washington hikes? Check out my Trails page!
Susannah Dyson says
Gorgeous pictures! I love all the wildflowers. And your picture of the bear is amazing!
Thanks! I could not believe we saw one that close!!
Every time I read your blog, I end up adding a hike that I want to do next month when we visit! :p This one looks super cool!
Haha don’t worry, we have a huge list of options for you guys! Can’t wait to see you!!