Mt. Rainier National Park

Summer must surely be here. After a rather dull early summer, I’ve spent most of the last two weeks in nearby National Parks soaking up sunshine. I spent Wednesday through Friday of last week on Mt. Rainier camping with Tyson and his family. We couldn’t have asked for better weather.

And the mountain was cloaked in its best finery due to a record Spring snowfall. Though the snow made walking on trails more difficult than usual, it seemed like a fair tradeoff when taking photos, and I took photos of the mountain from many different angles, especially since Leslie generally favors the northern approach to the mountain while Jen chose the southern approach, through Paradise.

Wherever we went Rainier’s presence was palpable. We day hiked to Reflection Lake from Narada Falls, the furthest East I got this trip, and despite the distance, the mountain seemed to surround us.

Rainier form Reflection Lake

On our way up and back from Paradise, I repeatedly pulled off at scenic turnouts to try to capture the “best” view of the mountain,

 Mt. Rainier

even though I was perfectly aware from past experiences that there is no “best view” of Rainier.

That knowledge certainly didn’t stop me from constantly trying to get a better picture than those I’d gotten before. This one

seems to me to capture the sheer massiveness of Rainier better than the others.

Strangely, at least to me, my least favorite shots of the mountain itself were those I took from Paradise, the point where mountain climbers regularly start their assault on this formidable peak.

Rainier from Paradise

Ironically my favorite shots of Rainier have actually been taken less than a mile away from my home here in Tacoma. Sometimes you need some distance to see their true nature, which is not to say that I would have preferred to be home than on the mountain. No, it was a delightful three days, and I love the mountain more the more I experience it. Up there you experience the mountain not just see it.

5 thoughts on “Mt. Rainier National Park

  1. They re all good Loren but I like the first one best. Of course what you don’t want to see is a wisp of smoke coming from the peak – few people realize that Mt. Rainier is still an active volcano – just like Mt. St. Helens. Unlike Helens there are a lot of people living “down flow” from the mountain.

  2. The lingering snow this summer makes for an especially photogenic mountain. I have kept a favorite photo of mine of the mountain as wallpaper on my desktop for some years now along with a favorite quote. Using the third photo posted above for wallpaper would work best for this. Insert a quote in the blue sky above the mountain. How can you not love this mountain!

  3. You found the operative word for Rainier: “Presence.” On my one trip to the park, that Presence stood over us every moment of the day, dominant, powerful, tracking us the way eyes in a portrait follow when you walk around the room. Even when we were on the way home and almost out of the park, I glanced into the rear view mirror to check traffic, and saw nothing but the mountain, The Presence, reflected there.
    Incredible experience.

  4. Thanks for great NW photos, Loren. liked the distance idea, as we so often use the mountain as a tether without strings. kjm

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