Winter Wonderland…in Shorts!

Mount Rainier got 25′ of more snow than average this past winter.  Where usually the base of the mountain is a field of wildflowers by August, this year it’s still a snowfield!  The presents a rare opportunity to have some “winter fun” in your shorts!  

While you can find snow there year round, it’s not often you can’t even see the paved trails because of it!  Grab your family and friends and go spend an August day sledding and playing in the snow on Mount Rainier.

Paradise is only about a 2 hour drive from most of the Seattle metroplex.  Admission to the National Park is $15 for a 7 day pass.

What to bring:

  • Ski or hiking poles (it will make climbing a lot easier)
  • Waterproof boots or just a spare pair of dry shoes to change into when you get finished playing in the snow.
  • Shorts work well (it wasn’t cold, it just takes a LONG time for all that snow to melt) because pants soak up too much water.
  • A sledding disc or even just some sturdy plastic to sit on if you want to slide down
  • A towel and change of clothes in case you get wetter than expected.
  • Your camera!

We saw people skiing and snowboarding down the mountain as well.  

Pack a picnic lunch or take advantage of the nice food served in both the restaurant and coffee shop inside Paradise Inn.  You can even get a room for the night (like we did) if you have more than a day to spend.

The Visitor’s Center is staffed with Park Rangers who can give you maps of trails suited to your interest and skills.

In addition to playing in the snow in August, just below the elevation of the Visitor Center and the Paradise Inn the snow has melted and the trails are open.  There are lots of great, short and easy hikes you can do.

The heavy snowfall and late melt also has the waterfalls flowing spectacularly.  Be sure to take time to visit both Christine and Narada Falls – both with turnouts for easy viewing.

 

 

On your way back through Ashford, just a couple of miles outside the Park’s Paradise Gate, stop in at either the Wild Berry Restaurant or the Copper Creek Restaurant for a delicious slice of homemade berry pie – the perfect end to a memorable summer day!

 

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