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Mount Rainier

Don't just live like the mountain is out -- visit the mountain!

Mount Rainier is worthy of a visit for outdoorsy types and those looking for a little adventure alike. Photo credit: Jackie Fender

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When people talk about the things they love here in the South Sound, the majesty of our mountain on the horizon is almost always a part of the dialogue. Mount Rainier is a not-so-far-off iconic locale worthy of a visit for outdoorsy types and those looking for a little adventure alike. Let's jump into the sweet mama chariot and explore in and around Mount Rainier National Park. 

When you enter the park, you'll be greeted by park rangers with maps in hand. The contents inside include an easy-to-navigate map and colorful facts about the areas, which are abundant with flora and fauna. You need not be an expert hiker to enjoy the outdoors. There are 260 miles of maintained trails throughout the park offering both family friendly excursions and more challenging journeys. Meander through old-growth forests and marvel at fields of wildflowers. Plan your visit ahead of time by visiting the website (, which gives detailed descriptions of the trails throughout Paradise, Sunrise and Tipsoo Lake.

You can also camp in the wilderness of Mt. Rainier when the season allows, with permit in hand. For those who simply want to marvel at the scenery from the comfort of their seats, the drive up yields plenty of awe-inspiring sights to drink in. Plus, a variety of viewpoints and picnic areas can make a day of it. Bring a camera and buckle up for photogenic opportunities throughout.

There are plenty of accommodations at the foot of the mountain, but Wellspring Spa and Retreat remains one of my personal favorites. The retreat boasts a collection of cabins and even a treehouse to rest your head for the evening. The accommodations range from rustic and charming to comfy with a full kitchen, and all are surrounded by the bliss of natural beauty. You can even schedule a soak in one of the two outdoor hot tubs to relax your weary muscles from a day of outdoor adventures. 54922 Kernahan Rd. E., Ashford,

World-famous blackberry pie -- need I say more? Copper Creek Inn houses both overnight accommodations and a café that is perfect for a day-trip pit-stop. What it's best known for, though, is world-famous blackberry pie, which exhibits the epitome of the Pacific Northwest and satiates your sweet tooth. For pie connoisseurs, it's worth the drive alone. 35707 State Route 706 E., Ashford,

Visitors can't help but notice a collection of colorful dining cars and cabooses as they zip down Mountain Highway. Though it might feel touristy, you know you want to take a peek at the Mt. Rainier Railroad Dining Company. Whether with the kiddies or not, it's a fun stop to either wet your whistle in the lounge dining car or nosh on burgers or breakfast in the restaurant. 54106 Mountain Highway E., Elbe,

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