Mount Rainier National Park
We got to go to Washington for a friend’s wedding, and spent a few extra days in Seattle afterwards. We woke up bright and early at 3:00 AM to leave Seattle for Mount Rainier National Park. We had decided that we really wanted to do a sunrise hike up to Tolmie Peak, which meant getting there by 5:00 AM. It was completely dark when we arrived and pretty chilly, in the 40s. We used the flashlights on our phones almost the entire 3 miles up the mountain. I quickly realized that I had not researched if we should be considered about wildlife. Luckily, there were two other girls that were hiking up at the same time as us, so that helped me not feel as alone.
The hike up wasn’t too bad. The first two miles were relatively flat. The last mile was a little bit more steep, and we were definitely out of breath when we got to the top since we were hurrying to get up there before the sunrise. We made it just in time as the colors of the sunrise started to really get good. It took us about an hour and half to hike the 3 miles up.
Mount Rainier was absolutely incredible. I laughed at myself since I had asked Steve on the drive in if, what now looked like a tiny hill, had been Mount Rainier. We enjoyed sitting and taking in the sunrise with no one else up there. The girls did arrive and they were able to take a few pictures of us! It was really special to be up there with almost no one. The lake below, the sunrise colors, the gorgeous mountains all around, and Seattle in the distance. We were so grateful for such a clear morning. I read later that Rainier can be hidden from view from that same spot. We were up there for about 45 minutes before we started our descent.
We really enjoyed the hike down since we hadn’t been able to see anything hiking in. We stopped at the alpine lake which is at the base of Tolmie peak. Steve thought it would be fun to hike around the side of the lake to get a cool reflection picture of Rainier in the water, and WOW WAS HE RIGHT. It was probably one of the coolest pictures I’ve ever taken. The water was so calm, the trees so green, and the mountain so clear. SO fun.
The rest of the hike we enjoyed huge trees covered in some sort of moss and massive rocks. We also didn’t realize we had hiked right along the side of another alpine lake, which was gorgeous. We made it back to the car, so grateful that we had decided to do such an amazing hike. We drove back to Seattle and got waffles from a place called Sweet Iron. I’m not sure if we were extremely hungry or if they were really good! We tried a Brie, Basil, Bacon waffle, a Goat Cheese, Hazelnut, Honey waffle and a Berry Compote and Cream waffle. They were so unique and much needed after an early, long morning.