on November 6, 2007
Mt. Rainier is an active volcano only 1 hour outside the city of Seattle. This mountain has it all, meadows of wild flowers, cascading water falls, glaciers, hiking trails, rainforest and historic sites. Why are there no pictures of the summit???The summit is only visible 180 days out of the year. I picked the wrong day to visit Mt. Rainier; the guide told us it has been two weeks since he last saw the summit. I was very disappointed but on my last day in Seattle as I ascend up the Space Needle I finally saw it in all its glory. You can hike trails as long as 93 miles and as short as .7 miles. You will pass through major life-zones from forest to subapline meadows. There are two short trails to view the summit if visible and the glaciers. The best time of year to visit and the driest time are July and August. In the winter some of the roads are closed due to the large amount of snowfall; check before your trip.Campgrounds are available with running water and facilities. Again check conditions, because of snow and rain it does cause roads to close. The most popular destination is Paradise.Here there is a visitor center and easy access to the glacier view and the view of the summit. This area is surrounded with wild flowers. The visitor center has a souvenir shop and fast food counter. There is an observatory to view the mountain and the surrounding area.Only 2 miles outside of the park is the quaint Copper Creek Inn, stop by for a piece of their famous blackberry pie. The inn has a full service restaurant, gift shop and rooms if you plan on staying overnight and would not want to rough it on the mountain.This is a great place to end your day.
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