Mount Rainier to Olympic National Park

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

2017-03-13T13:21:14+00:00January 14th, 2017|North America, USA|13 Comments


  1. Gordon Hitchin January 15, 2017 at 10:49 am - Reply

    I love going to the US and this looks a really exciting trip to do, and as a keen photographer the volcano is just perfect. Thanks for sharing this James.

  2. Hendrik January 17, 2017 at 8:51 am - Reply

    So beautiful! The first time I admired the landscape of the West was last year when we made our Roadtrip along the West coast and also Yosemite. Since we love to hike and also spend as much time as possible in the nature this would be an ideal destination for an upcoming roadtrip. 4,392 meters is truly a thing, quite impressive. Nice inspiration… and the Gas station is beautiful!

  3. Ticker Eats The World January 17, 2017 at 11:18 am - Reply

    So cool and that one photo on the top is amazing! It’s nice that they have so much information online to research before you visit including the camera so you know weather conditions. Interesting to know that it is active as that always adds a touch of danger to the adventure. Reflection Lake though is breathtaking.

  4. Sara Essop January 17, 2017 at 1:46 pm - Reply

    Volcanoes are always exciting for me and I’d love to know when last this one erupted. The are around it is beautiful too. And the gas station is so quaint.

  5. neha January 18, 2017 at 1:14 am - Reply

    Seeing an active volcano is on my bucket list. The surroundings of this one are particularly beautiful. I will like to visit here

  6. kathy (from January 18, 2017 at 1:42 am - Reply

    I love that there is a web cam for you to see conditions at the top before you set out. This is really useful. It looks like a lovely place to visit. Thanks for sharing such an informative post.

  7. Abigail January 18, 2017 at 1:59 am - Reply

    National parks are definitely one of the things that I will add to my list of places to see. The view of Mount Rainier is insanely amazing. I have heard a lot about Olympic National Park and seeing your photos only adds fuel to the desire to see it myself!

  8. Mel I TravelingMel January 18, 2017 at 4:52 am - Reply

    I don’t think I’ve been on Mt. Rainier or in the National Park. I’ve certainly seen if from many angles as it towers above the Cascades. I’d love to do a backpacking trip there. Looks like you got some nice, clear views!

  9. Soraya January 19, 2017 at 12:39 pm - Reply

    It looks like you managed to grab the perfect reflection photo! I totally did not know there was an active volcano in the USA. It is totally beautiful, and I love the landscape that surrounds it.

  10. Amanda Tran | LVV Travel January 19, 2017 at 1:41 pm - Reply

    I didn’t know about this National Park or that there’s an active volcano in the US! Looks beautiful and that reflection photo is on point. Thanks for sharing!

  11. Carmen Baguio February 7, 2017 at 12:02 am - Reply

    The hubby grew up seeing Mt. Rainier from his bedroom window and most of his family still lives in that area. It’s so pretty! We hope to make it back up there this summer.

  12. Midori February 7, 2017 at 9:20 am - Reply

    So beautiful! Can’t wait to reconect with the nature!

  13. Tonya July 3, 2017 at 7:12 pm - Reply

    I’ve only seen Mt. Rainier from the distance but it was gorgeous and I hope to see it up close. I’d love to see Reflection Lake.

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