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
  • It’s a Decade Volcano

There are many places to stay around this huge volcano, I chose Kelso, Washington which offers great value hotels.  Alternatively, you can visit on a day trip from Seattle.

Reflection Lake

Mount Rainier, Washington - Reflection Lake

Mount Rainier is accessible by the white pass scenic byway which is open summer and 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 as well as the history of it.  Additionally, 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.  Finally, in paradise you’ll find Reflection Lake which is arguably the best place to photograph Mount Rainier.


Louise Lake

Lake Louise, Mount Rainier

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.  Moreover, you can print out a PDF of the full route which takes around 4-5 hours.  In addition to Louise Lake, there’s a small waterfall called Sunbeam Falls as well as a few hiking trails.

Mount Rainier Webcam

Mount Rainier, Washington

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. For this reason, you should have a good idea whether you can see it or not before you turn off.


How to Travel from Mount Rainier to Olympic National Park

Old Fashioned Gas Station, Olympia, Washington

The US gets a bad rap for not having any history but look at this cool gas station in Olympia 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 there are good value hotels.  Moreover, it’s good to learn the capital cities of each American State.

Olympic National Park to Seattle