Mt Rainier National Park
Hwy 706 E of Paradise
The stop along Highway 706 east of Paradise at Reflection Lakes is one of the most popular destinations for getting photos of Mt. Rainier. When the conditions are right and the surface of the lake is still, you can get a mirror-like image of Mt. Rainier to accompany the real view. And it is all the better when wildflowers are in full bloom along the lakeshore.
But getting those perfect conditions can be a challenge. A slight breeze can send ripples across the surface of the lake. The sun is at the wrong angle. Clouds can obscure the mountain. You may even find winter ice in the middle of summer. I certainly did. I finally got everything but the wildflowers after several stops over several years.
A Classic View of Mt. Rainier (P14A0615)
After a number of visits to the park, I finally hit it on a day when the surface of Reflection Lakes was calm.
Ice on Reflection Lakes (I08A0394)
There was still winter ice on Reflection Lakes when I visited in July 2008, one of a number of conditions over the years that have thwarted my Reflection Lakes hopes.
More About Mt. Rainier National Park
Spectacular scenery. Great hiking. Challenging mountain climbing. Mt. Rainier has a lot to offer to those looking to get away from it all and to those looking for a great day trip out of Seattle. And if you're lucky enough to visit Reflection Lakes on the day when the water is calm, you'll be treated to a classic calendar view of Mt. Rainier.
When experiencing Mt. Rainier National Park, it can be easy to forget that Mt. Rainier is regarded as one of the most dangerous volcanoes in the world. It has much in common with Mt. St. Helens. But Mt. Rainier is bigger, it's covered with much more ice and snow, and it is closer to major population centers. Lahars from past eruptions have flowed as far as present-day downtown Seattle and Tacoma. So enjoy it while you can.
You may also like these Mt. Rainier destinations:
- Longmire, Mt Rainier National Park, Washington
- Narada Falls, Mt Rainier National Park, Washington
- Nisqually Vista Trail At Paradise, Mt Rainier National Park, Washington
While you're in the area, check out these sights:
- Ape Cave Lava Tube, Mt St Helens National Volcanic Monument, Washington
- Around Town, Packwood, Washington
- Yakama Nation Cultural Center, Toppenish, Washington