Mount Rainier National Park - Day 1
In August 2020, we were not allowed to enter America’s fifth national park due to major forest fires and were sent back home. We did not have to return today; however, this visit also went differently than planned. Perhaps naive, but we expected snow-free trails in mid-June. We would have loved to walk up to Panorama View but slipping and sliding through the snow for two miles on the Skyline Trail did not feel like hiking.
After hesitating about whether to continue, we finally turned around, however, not after capturing some beautiful mountain views. When we returned to the Henry M. Jackson visitor center, Mount Rainier hid in the clouds. So, in hindsight, we made the right decision; we couldn’t have enjoyed a wide view with Mount Saint Helens, Mount Adams, and Mount Hood on the horizon.
On our way back, we stopped at several viewpoints. At Narada Falls, where the Paradise River plunges down 168 foot, we walked down the trail and saw an impressive waterfall with a beautiful perpetual rainbow at the waterfall’s base. This location has been a point of interest for tourists for more than a century; the characteristic stone bridge and walls were built around the 1900ties.
On the glacier bridge, we saw the birthplace of the approximately 81 miles long Nisqually River, the Nisqually Glacier, on Mount Rainier’s southern slope. It felt special to see this river, whose importance we learned about just a day earlier in Nisqually State Park, at its beginning.