In Mount Rainier National Park
Going to a National Park in low season is kinda like going to some public administration offices at lunchtime: don’t expect to get what you want. There’s no one around, everything is closed, there’s no indication about what going on, no maps, no signage, you’re just left by yourself like a puppy in a maze. Yesterday I checked the website of the National Park to check for road closures and I mapped our trip according to it. Yet, we arrive to the unattended eastern entrance and started driving west, expecting to cross the park this way, but after 20 km we were stuck at a gate. No map in hand, no signage… thankfully we came across a maintenance dude who told us where to go: all the way to the Western entrance through the National Forest. What a waste of time and gas, but guess what, that’s still ok because almost everything in the park is closed so there isn’t much to drive to! We knew we got a good weather window and it allowed us to walk to panorama point, a trail with great views of Mount Rainier’s glaciers and the Mountains to the South including Mount St Helens and Mount Hood next to Portland. Mount Rainier is not an extinct volcano and its peak reaches 14410ft high = 4315 meters. It’s the second highest mountain in the lower states (it excludes Alaska). There’s 25 glaciers covering it and as we walk up at 10000 feet high we step on snow, it’s cold up there!