As long as we’ve lived in the Pacific Northwest, my wife and I had never driven up the road to Mt. Rainier and Mt. Rainier National Park. Yesterday we not only did that, but we also continued on around the back side of the mountain (eastern hemisphere), making a big “loop” as we headed home, and were rewarded with nothing but serendipitous beauty. Above is halo-clouded Mt. Rainier from still snow-laden Reflection Lake. You can click on any photo for a larger, down-loadable image.
We approached the great mountain and National Park from the western entrance, and in so doing, you pass through the little town of Elbe, six miles north of Mineral Lake and about 17 miles west of the Park entrance. It is here where the Mt. Rainier Railroad originates and makes summer weekend trips along rickety tracks to the Lake and back. We passed on the railroad ride and continued up the winding mountain road by car.
We used our Senior “Golden Pass” to gain free entrance into Mt. Rainier National Park and made our way another 15 miles or so to historic Paradise Inn and its famous restaurant, where we planned to enjoy the scrumptious Sunday Brunch Buffet. They did not disappoint. Below is Kay Lynne by the entrance to the Inn.
From there, we drove north along Hwy 123 and merged with WA 410 just a few miles west of Chinook Pass. The drive home from that point was absolutely gorgeous with outside temps varying from 73-degrees at the elevations to 86 in the windless canyons. We followed the White River Canyon down into Greenwater and Enumclaw which approaches the back yard to our area.
All in all, an incredible Day Trip with wonderful memories.