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Mount Rainier National Park

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Did you know you can find snow in Paradise?

After staying in Olympic National Park for a few days we headed over to Packwood and found this adorable AirBnB to make our home base for our stay at Mount Rainier National Park.

Distance from Olympic National Park to Packwood: 180 miles

Elevation of Mount Rainier: 5,312 at the top

Where we stayed: AirBnB A-frame house

What we did: Grove of the Patriarchs Nature TrailReflection LakesParadise

Right away we unloaded and went up to the park to check out  Grove of the Patriarchs Nature Trail. These trees are amazing. Towering old growth including Douglas-fir, Western Redcedars and Western Hemlocks plus some of the richest and most productive ecosystems on the planet. The trail is very easy, 1.2 miles in/out featuring a modern suspension bridge crossing the Ohanapecosh River, and then to a wooden boardwalk that snakes in and around the amazinly old trees. After the bridge the boardwalk forks and goes in a loop so either way is a winner.

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After dinner on the first night we went back into the park to photograph Reflection Lakes  with the mountain in the background. There was absolutely NO light out there, which was kind of creepy but beautiful. Total silence and stillness. Tre got some really beautiful shots of the lake.

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Photo by Tre Dunham

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The next morning we had a special treat, a cloud stalled over the mountain and created this amazing cloud cap. We quickly went back up the mountain stopping by Reflection lakes again and then up to the top of Paradise where we found snow on the ground! We took our time hiking around, watching people slipping and sliding, wearing totally the wrong footwear for walking around on the snow, present company included. Paradise is known for the beautiful wild flower meadows and stunning views.

Later that afternoon we hiked out to Narada Falls and then grabbed lunch at the Historic Paradise Inn overlooking the park. Gorgeous!

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Photo by Tre Dunham

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Photos by Leah Dunham














Photos by Leah Dunham

Even though we only spent a couple days at Mount Ranier it was totally worth it and such a beautiful trip. Even at 16 weeks pregnant, the hikes were manageable, the weather was amazing and the company even better. Thanks for reading and hope you enjoy your next trip to the parks.

Keep on Y’all!

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