Mt. Rainier and Paradise Park Road Trip
Years ago, as part of our honeymoon, my wife, Debbie and I passed through Mt. Rainier National park. It was very early in the summer season and despite the fact that the road to Paradise visitors center was open, snow was absolutely everywhere. The weather was dreary but the thing that most impressed me was the fact that Mt. Rainier is absolutely enormous. I later read that Mt. Rainier has more glacial volume than all the mountains combined in any other state in the lower 48 . I believe it! At 14,410 vertical feet and with an enormous mass and the fact that it is one of the snowiest places on earth, it is an impressive sight. Well, because I recently heard that the wildflowers at Mt. Rainier were very good this year and my wife has always wanted me to get some good images from Mt. Rainier, I made a road trip. Below is one of my best images from Mt. Rainier National Park. This image was captured shortly after sunrise from near the Paradise Park visitor center.
The clouds you can see at the base of Mt. Rainier, quickly grew and completely covered the mountain. Shortly thereafter, the rain and snow commenced! I wasn’t able to capture any images with my large format camera because it was simply too windy. I suppose this offers inspiration for a return visit to Mt. Rainier next summer! Below is an image I captured the night before at the tail end of the 6 hour drive to Mt. Rainier from Our Pacific Crest base camp of Bend, Oregon.
Great colors and textures made it well worth while to stop despite the fact that I was frantically looking for a camp site and I was almost out of daylight.
The morning of my Mt. Rainier visit I awoke before 4:00AM and began hiking. I traversed the Mazama Ridge in the dark and along the way I saw two red foxes and countless deer. Not finding any remarkable scenes along this park of Mt. Rainier National Park, I continued uphill back towards Paradise. I passed through the Van Trump area and the Edith Creek Basin which is pictured below.
Weather reports from the visitor center predicted rain and heavy clouds for the next two full days in the Paradise area so I hastily retreated to the Columbia River Gorge area where the weather forecast was more promising. I got some great new stock photos from the Coulumbia River Gorge National Scenic area but they will have to wait for another blog entry.
Mt. Rainier is truly an amazing mountain and the National Park offers much more than just the mountain. There are countless waterfalls long the way as well as the gorgeous Tatoosh range, and the Grove of the Patriarchs and it’s 1,000 year old cedar and Douglas Fir trees. Below is Sunbeam Falls, a whimsical little waterfall along the roadside near the Paradise area.
For more information about the remainder of my Mt. Rainier road trip, and some great images from the Columbia River Gorge, Double Mountain Brewery, and Elowah Falls, please check back soon! Thanks for reading and if you would like to license any of the images in this blog entry, please visit our stock photography site, Pacific Crest Stock.