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September day trip from Seattle to Mt Rainier

Atlanta, Georgia
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43 posts
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September day trip from Seattle to Mt Rainier

My wife and I are visiting Seattle our first time next week. We will only be in Seattle a couple of days. We are considering a day trip to Mt Rainier on September 15th (Sunday). We will be driving and would like to see some waterfalls, the glacier and Reflection Lake. We could do a short (1-2 mile) hike. We can leave Seattle early and of would like to be back by evening. Can anyone provide a suggested itinerary? Also are tennis shoes ok for short hikes? Or are hiking boots suggested? Any other tips and advice would be appreciated.

Seattle, Wa
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1. Re: September day trip from Seattle to Mt Rainier

For only a mile or two tennis shoes are fine, though they will probably get dirty/muddy (we've had record rainfall the past few days). I think you sort of laid out your own itinerary--head toward Paradise, stop at Narada Falls, do the Nisqually Vista trail to see a glacier, and drive to Reflection Lakes. If you have extra time at Paradise you might also like to walk to the little waterfall on Edith Creek and nearby Myrtle Falls--these are less than 1/2 mile up the Skyline Trail (head counterclockwise) along a paved trail. There are quite a few view pullouts to stop at as you drive to Paradise as well, and you can drive the Paradise Valley Rd too. This little map shows these places:

nps.gov/mora/…Paradise-Area-Trails-Aug11.pdf

Atlanta, Georgia
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2. Re: September day trip from Seattle to Mt Rainier

Thank you very much Christy. I've seen suggestions to watch the weather before committing to a Rainier trip. Do you still have pretty good views if it's cloudy but not rainy?

Poulsbo, Washington
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3. Re: September day trip from Seattle to Mt Rainier

It depends on the cloud level.

Newtown, PA
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4. Re: September day trip from Seattle to Mt Rainier

Gary, we spent 2 days at Mt. Rainier last month. One was cloudy/foggy at Sunshine and the next day was perfect at Paradise. Although we did get some breaks with the clouds and got some good views, I feel like we need to return to Sunshine some day. We never got an unobstructed view of Rainier. Here's a link to the pictures from our 2 days in the park.

https:/…

Atlanta, Georgia
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5. Re: September day trip from Seattle to Mt Rainier

Thank you for the suggestions Christy. We are hoping for good weather on Sunday. Thanks for sharing your awesome pictures Relayer. They are beautiful and it looks like you guys saw a lot in your 2 days at Mt. Rainier.

Atlanta, Georgia
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6. Re: September day trip from Seattle to Mt Rainier

Quick question please. I see 2 parking lots at Paradise...the Lower Lot and the Upper Lot. For the hikes listed by Christy, which lot should I use? Or does it matter?

Poulsbo, Washington
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for Olympic National Park
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7. Re: September day trip from Seattle to Mt Rainier

Do not go by past weather. This week is unseasonably warm. Saturday looks like the clearer day. If I had a choice that is the day I would go. Sunday should be fine, but the forecast is for more clouds. Of course weather in the mountains can be different from the lowlands. This morning the mountain was out in all its glosry as it was yesterday aftyernoon.Either parking lot is fine. It depends where you want to walk.

Atlanta, Georgia
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8. Re: September day trip from Seattle to Mt Rainier

Thanks. We are arriving in Seattle around noon Saturday, so there won't be enough daylight for Mt Rainier that day. Sunday is our only option. So keeping our fingers crossed that the weather clears a bit. We would love to visit Mt Rainier.

Poulsbo, Washington
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for Olympic National Park
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9. Re: September day trip from Seattle to Mt Rainier

If it is foggy when you get up do not worry it should burn off!

Seattle, Wa
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10. Re: September day trip from Seattle to Mt Rainier

The upper lot at Paradise has a 2 hour limit, so most people use the lower lot.

If you spend some time at Paradise and the weather is not cooperating, drive around the park to the east side, and even visit Sunrise if you have time. You can head back to Seattle from there without backtracking. The weather is often clearer on the east side of the park.

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