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Best View of Mt Rainier...Outside Mt Rainier National Park?

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I have a friend arriving for a visit this afternoon and he will depart on Sunday (to head down to Portland via train). A visit to Mt Rainier is on his "must do" list, although I don't think he is much of a hiker. The initial thought was to do this on Sunday:

* Leave Seattle in a.m.
* Head to Renton to see Jimi Hendrix grave (another "must do" on his list)
* Go to Mt Rainier Nat Park (Paradise)
* Head to Tacoma; visit Glass Museum before getting on train around 6:00ish

Frankly, I get exhausted and crabby just thinking of this itinerary. I'm also *really* concerned about traffic and parking availability at Paradise on Sunday (gorgeous weather, kids not in school...think it will be busy).

I suppose we could do Mt Rainier on Sat (without the other two stops), but we wouldn't be able to depart until lunch time. Another option is to suggest he rent a car on Friday and go to the park then (in hopes that it wouldn't be as crowded). I'm pretty sure this option will be the least appealing to him.

So my question is... Do you agree that this itinerary is a little too optimistic? Are there any great places to view Mt Rainier without going to the park itself? There's a few great views heading south on I5, but I know he'd rather be able to stand outside and take a picture versus pointing and shooting through my windshield. :)


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