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Mount Rainier or Olympic ?

Vancouver...
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Mount Rainier or Olympic ?

We are first timers coming to Seattle in Sept for 4 nights, 5 days.

Staying at the Hotel Andra.

We were thinking about taking one of our days and renting a car and seeing a national park.

If you could only choose one which is the better of the two ?, which one is not to be missed when in this area ?

Any advice would be great.

Thanks.

J and J.

Port Angeles, WA
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for Olympic National Park
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1. Re: Mount Rainier or Olympic ?

Mt. Rainier. You don't have time to do ONP. It is a 3 hour and 45 minute drive from downtown Seattle to the top of Hurricane Ridge, and that is the nearest ONP attraction. If you could spend 2 nights in the park area, it would be different, but with your limited time, ONP is not a good choice.

Oregon
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2. Re: Mount Rainier or Olympic ?

Consider Mt St Helens, needs to be seen up close, recent volcano. Rainier highly visible from Seattle

Poulsbo, Washington
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3. Re: Mount Rainier or Olympic ?

Both Parks are great, but I agree Olympic needs more time. Rainier is easier to visit and beautiful.

Everett, Washington
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4. Re: Mount Rainier or Olympic ?

Also have a contingency plan incase the weather is totally bad and low clouds obscure the mountains. Not real common in first half of Sept. but can be later in the month. Also, unless you want to do a little hiking or see a glacier sort of up close it September there is not a lot there. Although the waterfalls on the road up to Paradise are nice. Rainier is best seen from about 20 miles away such as from the town of Orting or the hill south of Graham. Like many tall things the closer you get to the base the more the height gets foreshortened - diminishing the vertical effect and scale.

The St. Helens suggestion is good if it is very clear out because you will get nice views of Rainier on the way and have lots to actually see at the volcano visitor centers. On warm sunny days picnicing at St. Helens can be a real treat.

Poulsbo, Washington
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5. Re: Mount Rainier or Olympic ?

I totally disagree that Rainier is best seen from a distance. Lookin gup at the summit from Paradise or from a distrance from the loop drive is incredible! Being there when you can not see the peak would be very dissapointing, but there are still plenty of short walks to do and being up there is fabulous breathing the mountain air.

Vancouver...
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6. Re: Mount Rainier or Olympic ?

Thanks so much for the advice.

Unfortunately Olympic is now out of the running and Mount St.Helens as taken its place.

I noticed the drive time for Rainier and Helens are pretty much the same with maybe a 20 minute difference.

We like to do trails, which one has better hiking trails ?

Which one has better Photo opportunities ?, or are both equal in Beauty ?

Poulsbo, Washington
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for Olympic National Park
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7. Re: Mount Rainier or Olympic ?

Mt. St. Helens is a longer drive. It is a very interesting area, but keep in mind it is an area recovering from a Vocanic Blast. If your primary interest in visiting St. Helens is not see the results from a volcanic eruption the choose Rainier. Rainier has tons of hiking options and is beautiful in September. St Helens again is very interesting, but it is not anywhere near as beautiful as it was before the eruption. Rainier is a national Park for a reason.

Vancouver...
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8. Re: Mount Rainier or Olympic ?

Thanks so much.

Rainier it is then.

9. Re: Mount Rainier or Olympic ?

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