I took the boys to Mt Rainier National Park last week. The weather was PERFECT. The mountain was out most of the time and even when a cloud rolled in it only covered one side of the mountain.
We drove to Paradise from the Nisqually Entrance of the park and parked our car in the lower lot. I had spent a considerable amount of time on the internet reading about the trails and reviews. We aren’t “hikers”. We don’t have hiking boots. In fact, tennis shoes were the best I could do – and Gavin just had his slip on shoes with no traction. So we started small. The trail description included words like “easy” and “suitable for families with strollers”. So we set out on the 1.2 mile loop that is the Nisqually Vista trail. (to and from the car at the start of the trail was 1.7 miles)
The trail loops around and gives you amazing views of the Nisqually Glacier. Elevation gain around 200 ft. Highest point of the trail is 5165 ft. I didn’t pay attention to how long it took us. We stopped at every snow patch covering the trail. Gavin stopped to pick up a large variety of pine cones and sticks. All of which got left behind.
And we stopped at each outlook too. Cody was busy counting waterfalls. What I didn’t know until later is that this is the “birthplace” of the Nisqually River, which runs all the way to the Puget Sound. It was a tiny little stream coming from the glacier.
After the loop we headed back to the car to have a snack.
This trail was predominately in the shade. And cool. We were comfortable with our sweatshirts on. As we headed off the other direction, towards the Deadhorse Creek Trail we were warm in t-shirts. We started at the lower parking lot and walked up past the Moraine Trail but didn’t make it quite all the way to the Skyline Trail. (Deadhorse Creek Trail is listed in with the moderate trails with an elevation gain of 400′.)
From the car to where we stopped and back was about 1.8 miles. It sure seemed like a lot longer of a hike than the first loop – that could be because this trail was pretty much straight uphill. We were on this trail for about an hour and a half. First stopping to play in a stream right next to the trail.
We also stopped to admire the view several times. Gavin sat down and said a prayer thanking God for the creation we enjoyed. Melt my heart into a puddle.
And then we spent lots of time playing in the snow.
Cody was content to throw snowballs straight up into the air for a while… until he found another target…
Gavin tried to get him back, but his snow ball wasn’t packed very well
We had a wonderful time and we’re already planning our next adventure.
I’m also working on a PNW post with scenic photos I took this trip.