5 Ways to Experience Mount Rainier National Park

Mount Rainier, the Lower 48’s most glaciated peak and an active volcano, looms large ... and not just because of its 14,410-foot height. Here are five ways to experience pure wonder on and around its slopes.
  1. Wildlife Tours
    In autumn, elk stags bellow and lock horns, vying for the ladies, at Northwest Trek in Eatonville. Naturalists guide excursions through the 725-acre wildlife park, which end with continental breakfasts.
  2. Art Classes
    Artists can stretch their skills with plein air classes at the Rainier Independent Film Festival and the Mount Rainier Institute of Photography, where even kids and craft-rusty adults can wax creative with glass-jewelry workshops.
  3. Luxury Spas
    Best known for its rugged beauty, Mount Rainier can school even the slickest urbanite in luxury. Catch a private massage tutorial a mile from the park’s main entrance at Stormking Spa.
  4. Pick Your Own Produce
    Autumn ripens huckleberries in Mount Rainier’s foothills. The park allows visitors to pick two quarts of these treats daily, as well as mushrooms like morels and chanterelles. Be cautious: some varieties are poisonous.
  5. Gentle Hikes 
    The newly rerouted, 7-mile round-trip Glacier Basin path occupies a high, dry “banana belt” zone on the volcano’s east side and is family friendly with just 1,280 feet of elevation gain. It threads through wildflowers in early spring and offers a detour to view Emmons Glacier, the largest in the contiguous U.S. 

Learn more about Mount Rainier National Park.

—Amanda Castleman

City Tags: