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Mount Rainier to Olympic National Park

Mount Rainier is a volcano located in Washington state, US.  Here are some Mount Rainier facts;

  • It’s an active volcano
  • 4,392 meters above sea level
  • Highest mountain in Washington state
  • The most dangerous volcano in the US threatening Seattle and Tacoma
Mount Rainier, Washington

Mount Rainier, Washington

Mount Rainier is accessible by the white pass scenic byway which is open summer thru to the end of fall.  From I-5 you take US-12 east to the Jackson visitor center.  In the Jackson visitor center you’ll find information about the volcano and the history of it.  You’ll read why it’s the most dangerous volcano in the US and what could potentially happen if there was a serious eruption.  The area around the visitor center is known as paradise.  In paradise you’ll find Reflection lake.  Guess where I took the above picture?

Mount Rainier, Washington

Mount Rainier, Washington

For me the main aim was to find reflection lake and take the perfect reflection photograph of the volcano.  I was lucky with the weather and the position of the moon above the volcano.  For a more in depth description of how to see absolutely everything on the white pass scenic byway I recommend you visit the official site.  You can print out a PDF of the full route which takes around 4-5 hours.

Before driving to the volcano you can check the webcam to see current conditions at the top.  You can actually see Mount Rainier from the interstate, so you should have a good idea before you turn off as to whether you’ll be able to see it or not.

Old Fashioned Gas Station, Washington

Old Fashioned Gas Station, Washington

The US gets a bad rap for not having any history but look at this cool gas station which is still in use today.  From Mount Rainier I headed west towards I-5 then onto Olympia, the capital of Washington state.  I stayed in Olympia because it’s on the way to Olympic National Park and they have great value motels.

Olympic National Park to Seattle