We meet our guides and fellow travelers at our host hotel near the Seattle-Tacoma Airport early this morning. After a brief orientation we load up for the two-and-a-half-hour drive to Eagle Peak Trailhead at Longmire—the gateway to Mount Rainier. This moderately steep, seven-mile out-and-back trail offers a quintessential Mount Rainier National Park hiking experience. Starting under a verdant canopy of old-growth forest, we then pop out into high alpine meadows that offer out-of-this-world views of Mount Rainier and Tahoma. On a clear day, the expansive views of Mount St. Helens, Mount Hood and Mount Adams take one’s breath away. Back at the trailhead, it’s just a short drive to our national park campground, where we work together to set up a cozy group site. All meals included.
Hiking: 7.2 miles, Elevation gain/loss: +2,910’ / -2,910’; Van transfer 2–3 hours
Today we explore the Paradise region of the park. After a delicious camp breakfast we take a short 30-minute drive to the Paradise Visitor Center. We explore the area on a series of trails thoughtfully stitched together by our guides. Our route showcases some of the park’s most celebrated views, including Glacier Vista and Panorama Point. Along the way, our skilled guides share the natural and human history of this favorite national park. We eventually meander down to iconic Reflection Lake. From here you can choose to ride back to camp in the van or hike with our guides an additional 3.5 miles along the famed Wonderland Trail, which takes us straight back to camp. All meals included.
Hiking: 6–10 miles, Elevation gain/loss: +1,600’ / -2,000'
Today we set our sights on 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 its vibrant wildflower meadows and 360-degree views, Sunrise is a favored destination for both locals and park visitors. Our mission is the top of Burroughs Mountain. This tundra-like alpine mountain offers dramatic, unobstructed views of Mt. Rainier. The nine-mile out-and-back hike provides abundant opportunities to see the wildflowers and wildlife for which the park is renowned. All meals included.
Hiking: 9 miles, Elevation gain/loss: +2,500' / -2,500'; Van transfer: 4 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 this evening. Breakfast and lunch included.
Hiking: 6 miles, Elevation gain/loss: +2,200’ / -2,200'; Van transfer 2–3 hours