We rearranged some of our weekend plans and crossed our fingers that the weather would cooperate for at least one day so my in-laws would get to experience Mt. Rainier National Park.
We live north so if we’re going to make the drive down to the park, it’s nice knowing you will get to see the mountain at some point during the day-long trip.
It was foggy on our drive south but as we continued, the weather improved. Brian suggested we drive around from east to west, following the sun and therefore improving our chances of having great light, great views and possibly great pictures.
It was a great plan and ended up working perfectly!
I had originally created a list of things to do/places to hike, but it turned out the scenic railroad was closed for the day due to other activities and we weren’t sure what the weather would do or how many people would be there. We decided to just play it by ear.
We left early and decided to stop for breakfast along the way. Brian thought people at work had suggested a place called Black Diamond Bakery so he looked up directions and we popped in.
I can understand why they recommended it!
You walk in and are greeted with an amazing display of homemade breakfast baked goods, loaves of bread and homemade chocolates, all of which you can take to go.
We headed left into the dining room and got a table by the window with an incredible view of Mt. Rainier! Our breakfasts were delicious– just the right amount of food– and the view was wonderful.
We will definitely take others there the next time we plan a day at the park!
Mt. Rainier towering above us, we continued around the east side of the park and made our first stop at the Grove of the Patriarchs, which is a neat 1.5-mile trail with a rope bridge and some incredible trees and plant life.
I catch my breath on days when we can see Mt. Rainier heading from Lynnwood to downtown Seattle so I was blown away at how incredible it is up close. It got closer and closer every time we came around a bend.
It was my first time at Mt. Rainier and the weather could not have been more perfect– blue skies, some of the leaves and plants changing colors for fall– we couldn’t have timed our visit better had we tried.
Our final stop was the Visitor Center at Paradise. Apparently everyone shared our idea to enjoy the park on such a beautiful day because it was packed. We ended up parking half-way down the drive and walking back to the center.
We grabbed a bite to eat and watched a video about the park, which was really interesting. It talked about the park at different times of year and the difference between the different areas of the park from a flora and fauna perspective.
I’m glad we bought a pass–I would love to see it in every season and I would LOVE to see some wildlife!
It was a great day to go, and we had a great time. I can’t wait to explore the outdoors, and especially the parks, year-round! Here are a few other pictures from our day.