Our next move was to a little town south of Mount Rainier so we could go to
Mount Rainier National Park and Mount St
Helens. There are very few roads in Mount Rainier NP but the ones
they have were planned to give the most spectacular views. The most popular
road is the one to Paradise - why wouldn't you want to go there? We entered from the east at the
entrance on a beautiful morning. We were rewarded with great views and pictures
as we stopped at all of the points of interest. We parked at Stevens Canyon Paradise
before the mob showed up and did some hiking up to viewpoints. We were there a
few hours and by the time we left it was chaos with tons of cars and people.
Once again our strategy of going in early paid off. Mount Rainier has more than
35 square miles of glaciers, the largest collection of glaciers on one peak in
the contiguous United States.
As with any mountain area, most trails are difficult because it is up and down
|Looking south from near Panorama Point|
We wanted to go to the
Mount St Helens National Volcanic Monument
from here also. It turned out that the road on the west side, where we were,
was washed out part way up. We went as
far as we could to see what we could see. The other alternative would have been
at least a two hour drive, each way, from our location (Randle) and we opted
not to do that. We'll be back again and plan an RV stop for easier access from
the west side of the monument.
|Mount St. Helens from Bear Meadow - northeast side|