12 Short Dayhikes In & Around Mt. Rainier National Park

At 14,410 feet, Mt. Rainier is the King of the Cascades, the tallest of the great volcanic peaks of the Cascade Mountain Range in the Pacific Northwest. But of the 2 million people who visit the mountain every year, only a small fraction venture beyond the parking lots and visitor centers. Here are some great dayhikes to check out.

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Washington’s Olympic Peninsula Is Extraordinary

Are you looking for a place to go camping out West this summer that is free of wildfires? Washington’s Olympic Peninsula is an extraordinary tongue of land. Its glacier shrouded mountains were born in and raised from the sea — in turn giving life to dense forests, lush meadows, clear rivers and sparkling glacial lakes. The Olympic National Park is the heart of this unique and beautiful peninsula.

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Testing My Mettle On Mount St. Helens

It’s not the length of the hike up Mount St. Helens, or even the steepness that makes it tough — it’s the terrain. The rocky segment was tough, but the last mile was the killer. Covered with a deep, soft, pumice-and-ash fluff, it sucked my feet ankle-deep with every step, and the steep pitch had me sliding one step back for every two I took forward.

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Lost and Confused: The Dangers of Solo Hiking


It’s not a good idea to hike too early in the season, before the trails are cleared, but it’s hard to wait when the sky turns blue and the birds begin to sing. And what about hiking alone? You probably shouldn’t. I still hike alone — more now than ever — but my admiration of the wild is now tempered with respect.

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Mount Rainier National Park: A Unique American Treasure

Mount Rainier National Park is a unique American treasure — a place that fires the soul and instills fond and lasting memories. The 100-plus miles of good park highways serve as breath-taking scenic drives. There are many well-placed pullouts and fantastic vistas along the way. Deer and elk often grace the landscape.

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The Early Bird Gets the Shaft

My plan for the day’s route said “at the junction with Strawberry Mountain Trail, turn left and continue ascending.” It didn’t mention what to do if you couldn’t even SEE the trail under the icy, hard-packed, dirty snow.

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