We meet our guides and fellow travelers at our host hotel near the Seattle-Tacoma Airport at 9am. We?ll have a brief orientation before loading up for the two-and-a-half hour drive to the High Rock Lookout Trailhead. The 3.4-mile out-and-back hike is moderately steep and takes us along the crest of Sawtooth Ridge before reaching a fire lookout cabin built in 1929. At an elevation of 5,685?, High Rock is dramatically higher than its surroundings and, on a clear day, provides stunning Mount Rainier views. Once we have completed our hike we travel an hour to our national park camp where our REI Signature Camp awaits. Lunch and dinner included.
Hiking: 3.5 miles; 1,400? elevation gain/loss; transfer 2-3 hours.
After a satisfying camp breakfast, we make a lunch for the trail and load our daypacks for a trip to the Sunrise area of the park. At an elevation of 6,400?, Sunrise is the highest point that can be reached by vehicle in Mount Rainier National Park. Known for vibrant wildflower meadows and 360-degree views of surrounding valleys and other volcanoes of the Cascade Range, Sunrise is a favorite destination for many park visitors. Today we hike among a series of pristine alpine lakes on our journey to Upper Palisades Lake. This seven-mile, out-and-back hike provides abundant opportunities to see the wildflowers the park is known for. We stop at Hidden Lake to enjoy a picnic lunch while marveling at the emerald green water. After our day on the trail, our camp host awaits us with another delicious dinner. All meals included.
Hiking: 7 miles; 1,800? elevation gain/loss; transfer 4 hours.
Today we explore the Paradise region of the park. After a filling breakfast and preparing our trail lunches, we take a 30-minute drive to Paradise Visitor Center. We explore the area on a series of trails thoughtfully stitched together by our guides to provide a full day of marvelous views from some of the park?s most celebrated viewpoints including Glacier Vista and Panorama Point. Along the way, our skilled guides share the natural and human history of this favorite national park. We'll make our way down to Reflection Lake where our van will be waiting for us stocked with refreshments. From here you can choose to ride back to camp in the van or hike to camp with our guides on a gentle 3.5-mile downhill hike along the famed Wonderland Trail. All meals included.
Hiking: 6-10 miles; 2,000?- 4,000? elevation gain/loss.
We wake to the sounds of birds chirping and the smell of hot coffee. After a delicious breakfast we head out for another wonderful day on the trail. Today?s hike will be chosen based off the season in which you?re traveling and is meant to demonstrate the changing faces of the park. Whether honing your northwest flower identification skills or gazing off into a picturesque mountain landscape the day will be spent maximizing what the park has to offer each season. All meals included.
Hiking: up to 8 miles; up to 2,200? elevation gain/loss depending on route; transfer up to 2 hours.
After a final breakfast at camp we pack our bags and load up for our final hike. Today?s hike is to Comet Falls and Van Trump Park, located a short drive from camp. Our six-mile, out-and-back hike is along the Van Trump Creek through a beautiful forest with views of several waterfalls. Our hike begins at the often photographed Christine Falls, and the route climbs steadily as we make our way to Van Trump Park. Along the way we choose one of many flower-filled meadows to enjoy during our picnic lunch. On a clear day, we enjoy views of Mount Rainier and St. Helens as well as ample views of the Kautz and Van Trump Glaciers. After our descent we complete the final leg of our journey back to Seattle. We anticipate arriving back to the host hotel near the Seattle-Tacoma International Airport between 6pm and 7pm. Breakfast and lunch included.
Hiking: 6 miles; 2,200? elevation gain/loss, transfer 2-3 hours.