While the state of Washington is known for its many natural wonders, perhaps the most popular destination for local hikers and mountaineers is Mt. Rainier, located just south of the Seattle metropolitan area. Mt. Rainier offers visitors a number of extraordinary trails with gorgeous sights and sounds, and the sheer scope of the national park means that return trips will always offer new adventures. Here are a few Mt. Rainier trails that every Washington resident should visit at least once.
Mt. Rainier Trails: Moraine Trail
Known as one of the most low-key areas around Mt. Rainier, Moraine Trail is a destination celebrated for its peace and tranquility. Other trails on Mt. Rainier can become quite crowded, especially during peak visiting hours, but Moraine Trail maintains its calm year-round despite offering some of the most glorious scenic views in the entire national park.
As a consequence of being one of the less-traveled Mt. Rainier trails, it can be somewhat easy to lose one’s sense of direction along the way, so it’s recommended that any who attempt Moraine Trail bring along a map of the area. While the path is relatively straightforward, there are some twists and turns along the way that can send inexperienced hikers into steep and slippery territory.
Mt. Rainier Trails: Spray Park Loop
A sprawling loop that delivers a full scope of Mt. Rainier’s iconic beauty, the Spray Park Loop is a popular option among frequent visitors to Mt. Rainier for the simplicity of its layout. At around 16 miles for every round-trip through the loop, the hike can be a multi-day ordeal, and visitors often bring camping equipment for use at one of the many campgrounds available throughout the loop’s expanse.
Mt. Rainier Trails: Mildred Point
For hikers searching for a magnificent view of Mt. Rainier and the surrounding area, Mildred Point is a steep climb with ample payoff. The Mildred Point trail stands at 7 miles and can be completed in less than a day, though the winding nature of the path makes a guide or other source of directions highly recommended.
While the climb itself may be a difficult endeavor for some, the sights along the way more than make up for the strain of the hike, with pristine waterfalls and verdant valleys dotting the trail at every turn. Finally, once Mildred Point is reached, visitors can stop to take in the splendor and majesty of Washington nature.
Mt. Rainier Trails:Yurt Snowshoe
Located throughout the many Mt. Rainier trails available for exploration is the presence of little huts that serve as retreats for winter travelers. The Yurt Snowshoe Trail is one of the more prominent examples of these curiosities, allowing any who manage to trudge its snowy path to stay at the yurt for a short rest or even overnight, provided that reservations are made in advance. While the yurt isn’t too exciting on its own, it can make for a fun oddity to show off to friends unfamiliar with Mt. Rainier and its many secrets.
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