Art Created At Mount Rainier
Mount Rainier is a popular subject for fine art prints. There are amazing views of the mountain from the trails behind both the Paradise and Sunrise Visitor Centers. The Fall colors in the tundra are stunning. The reflections of the mountain at Little Tipsoo Lake are a sight to behold. The Tatoosh Range to the South is impressive, as well. Mount Rainier Landscapes simply make for great prints.
Visiting and Photographing Mount Rainier
Mount Rainier is a spectacular volcano that draws about two million visitors every year. Let’s talk about why it is such a great place to visit and photograph.
It’s an easy, short drive from Seattle, Washington, and from many other places in the Pacific Northwest. There is sufficient lodging in the park, in and around Ashford near the west entrance and in Packwood south of the National Park.
For hikers, there are many miles of trails, with some taking you up high and very close to the mountain. They can be steep, so check the trail info before you start.
The hills above the Paradise Visitor Center are the star of the show. The west side of the Skyline Trail will get you all the way up to Panorama Point. The east side will take up past Myrtle Falls and around to the Mazama Ridge Trail.
Late July and early August can be when the flowers are in bloom. Their timing can depend on how much snow there has been and when it melts. If you have flexibility, it's good to check with the Park Service before you go.
Capturing the flowers in front of the mountain is the goal of every photographer. My first attempt was during a year they bloomed a month early, but I was redeemed on a second attempt. Another great location for flowers can be at Reflection Lakes, but that isn’t always at the same time as the hills at Paradise.
While on the hills at Paradise, there are also great views of the Tatoosh Range, which lies to the southeast of Mount Rainier. They have strikingly jagged peaks and also look great with the Summertime flowers in the foreground. You just have to turn around and look the other way.
Also near Reflection Lakes is the trail to Bench Lake, which can also provide reflections of Mount Rainier. It does have over 400 feet in elevation gain, so take that into account if you’re trying to be there for sunrise.
For the serious hiker, there is an 8-mile trail to Spray Park, which starts near Mowich Lake northwest of the mountain. This is a serious trail with about a 1,700-foot elevation gain, so be aware of what you are getting into here.
For photographs that don’t require such serious hiking, there is Little Tipsoo Lake on the east side. The reflections in the lake can be amazing if you’re lucky enough to hit a calm morning. The Lupine flowers are also present here in the Summer. The Fall will bring vibrant red ground cover and makes for an equally good photograph.
There are also hiking and photography opportunities at the Sunrise Visitor Center, which is accessed from north of Tipsoo Lake on the east side of the mountain. From my experience, the flowers bloom a little earlier there than at Paradise, but check before you go.
For something different than the usual scenes of Mount Rainier, there is Box Canyon, the Grove of the Patriarchs, and some lush tree scenes near the Ohanapecosh Visitor Center.
You may get the idea that I really like hiking and photographing at Mount Rainier National Park. Well, I do. I hope you will get the opportunity to visit this national treasure.
Fun Facts About Mount Rainier National Park
Mount Rainier National Park is a fabulous mix of rugged mountain peaks, stunning wildflowers, and rolling green valleys.
Rainer is America’s fifth national park and was established in 1899. About 2 million people visit the park each year.
Ice Ice Baby - Rainier has 25 named glaciers on it – the most of any mountain in the continental United States.
It is a mere child – Mount Rainier is only about 500,000 years old. Some of the mountains in the nearby Cascade Range are at least 12-million-year-old.
Time to get in shape: The climb to the top of Mount Rainier is strenuous as it rises a little less than 3 miles high. To get to the summit, hikers and climbers face a vertical elevation gain of 9,000 feet over a distance of more than 8 miles. In 2019, 10,735 people attempted to climb Mount Rainier. Usually only half of those attempting to climb the summit actually make it!
Pack some peanut butter cheese crackers – and a water bottle – and maybe a tent! The 93-mile-long Wonderland Trail was the first trail to fully encircle Mount Rainier.
George Vancouver gave the volcano the name Mount Rainier in honor of his friend Rear Admiral Peter Rainier.
Mount Rainier is home to some of the most beautiful displays of wildflowers that you will ever see. Blooming starts in mid-July and the colors in August are a joy to behold.
Mount Rainier is the perfect combination – a place where you can face outdoor challenges – hiking - but also a place where you can enjoy the beauty afforded by fields of wildflowers and majestic mountain peaks. Put it on your list of places to visit.