Ok I know you're all probably thinking, what the heck? Didn't you guys go to the PNW LAST summer!? Yes, yes we did, ha! Bare with me though...I didn't have this fun little blog back then though, babies and life happen, this is my absolute favorite part of that trip, AND I'm one of the biggest lovers of our National Parks. So...no matter how long ago this trip happened, I want to share it with all of you. The things we did and beauty we saw are still relevant today. So without further ado...our day in Mount Rainier National Park!
We drove out to Mount Rainier National Park on our second day up in Washington. We were staying in Seattle and it was only about a two hour drive to get to the entrance of the park from the city. Our first stop on our way in was the Sunrise Visitor Center. We really love taking scenic landscape photos and researched some of the best views of Mt. Rainier prior to coming and this site popped up. It happened to be on our way to the spot where we we're going to go hiking, so it all worked out perfectly. We took a nice break from the car, grabbed some shots, and honestly just sat and took in the beauty of Mt. Rainier.
After our small little break at the visitor center, we made our way further in to the mountains to get to the trailhead of where we were going to start our hike. Since we were only spending one day in Mt. Rainier NP, we decided to do the Sourdough Ridge Trail hike up to Dege Peak. This hike took around 3 hours round trip for us...they say the average is around 2 hrs but I was first trimester pregnant when we were on this trip so this little mama needed to take it nice and slow with some long breaks. In total, the hike was 3.4 miles round trip. It was a decent steady incline for most of the hike up, but the last 3/4 of a mile or so was a pretty steep climb. The top of Dege Peak is around 7,000 ft and offers amazing views of Mt. Rainier, Mt. Baker, Glacier Peak, and Mt. Adams. I was so proud of myself for climbing this peak, especially while pregnant!
We hung out on top of Dege Peak for awhile to enjoy the view, have a snack, and catch our breath then it was time to head back down. We went back down the way we came...although I really wish we had time to continue down the opposite way to explore the lakes that were in the valley below, but maybe next time! The way down was of course much easier but at the same time challenging in it's own way. The surprising thing about the whole hike was that even though there was snow on the trail, it was still hot and we actually got sunburned! To me this is kind of a no brainer now that I should have worn more sunscreen, but it was my first time in this kind of experience so I had no idea!
After our hike, we headed back out of the park technically (we were just barely outside of it) and went to the Crystal Mountain Resort. We took the gondola up to the top of the mountain and had lunch at the Summit House Restaurant. We got to sit outside on their patio and enjoy the most amazing view of Mt. Rainier. We had burgers and fries and some lemonade to rehydrate and it was all so delicious and enjoyable!
Next on the itinerary was to head over to the Ohanapecosh area to see the hot springs. We "hiked" the Hot Springs Nature Trail in search of the hot springs. We were all prepared with bathing suits and ready to relax after a long day of hiking in the sun. Well guys, I hate to break it to you but these hot springs are well, barely anything, ha! I'm not joking when I say this...we walked right past them! I was laughing so hard that I didn't even get a picture of them. I think Ashlyn might have?! Anyways, it is now one of our biggest inside jokes that we drove an extra two hours for these hot springs and didn't even know we were at them! It was a hilarious way to end the day and a trip we will never forget.
I’m Diana; curator & author of Tiny Dapper Fox. Here you’ll find posts on motherhood, home life, travel, & fashion/beauty as well as City Guides for places all around the world. Make yourself cozy and let’s be friends!
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