Mount Rainier National Park | Summer 2018
Confession time, here's what I got: I came to Mount Rainier ignorant and with embarrassingly low expectations. On a clear day you can see the volcano-mountain from Seattle, and most of the 1.5 hour drive towards the Park, it looms over the road. I assumed the experience of visiting the Park would be simply approaching the namesake, admiring the grandeur from slightly closer up, and heading back (unless you are one of the 9000 annual summit-attempters). That honestly would be enough - Mount Rainier is amazing: the most glaciated mountain in the lower 48 (sorry Glacier NP?), the highest mountain in the Cascade Range, one of the most dangerous volcanoes in the world, and the most topographically prominent peak (aka it looks super tall) from sea to shining sea.
Instead, my old pal Andrew and I were treated to a majestic park still pocketed with feet-deep snow drifts, new facts and trivia to satiate my National Park nerdom (ie - the designers built a scenic, harmonious Park instead of an expedient or inexpensive one, and the design and aesthetics set the tone for the other Western Parks), incredible waterfalls and jaw-dropping vistas, and of course, a hearty hike which included making new ski-hiker friends, and a couple wet butts from sliding down snow-covered embankments.
And then, of course, there is still the volcano-mountain itself, the unfathomable giant that causes its own weather and cloud patterns, sitting proudly within site of its brothers and sisters (including Mount St. Helens, which silently warns of the anger beneath Rainier, which is an ever-present threat). In short, I’m sorry, because this place is truly a wonderland. I hope you enjoy the sample of pictures below, and don't forget to check out my video recap of the whole trip at the bottom of this post!
Mount Rainier National Park became the 5th National Park on March 2, 1899, and is located southeast of Seattle, WA.
All pictures by Karl Magnuson
Canon 6D Mark II
Canon EF 28-70mm f/2.8L, Canon EF 70-300mm f/4-5.6L