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Is this doable for 1 day trip to Mt. Ranier - Help!

Is this doable for 1 day trip to Mt. Ranier - Help!

Old Aug 18th, 2005, 09:39 AM
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Is this doable for 1 day trip to Mt. Ranier - Help!

We have one day for visiting Mt. Ranier, will be driving from Seattle (near the airport), returning to same hotel before departure the next morning. Want to go on Sunday, 9/18, staring out about 9 a.m.

Is it doable to drive around the park, with stops, in one day? We thought enter at NE, do Sunrise drive, go around to Paradise and visitor's center and exit SW. We're interested in the scenery and taking photos, with maybe a short walk or two of 1/2 hour or so, with stop for lunch. If the weather cooperates, is this reasonable?

Nat'l Geo site suggested this route with overnight at the Lodge to make it 2-day trek but had other outdoor activities suggested which we would not be doing. We hope we can enjoy it in one day--thanks for any help.
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Old Aug 18th, 2005, 09:55 AM
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Sure, no problem. Seattle to Mt Rainier is ~ 2 hour drive (and the airport is about 1/2 hour closer south). It would be an easy day trip especially with an early start and on a Sunday (light traffic to be expected).
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Old Aug 18th, 2005, 10:24 AM
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Please take the time to do this. . .Mt. Ranier is spectacular but make sure you have a good map with you and drive thru the park. We went the long way around it because my daughter was afraid of some of the winding roads with no guard rails. It took us much longer than if we would have gone thru the park.
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Old Aug 18th, 2005, 10:30 AM
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Yes, it's doable...although it will be a long day. You might consider going to Paradise first so as to beat some of the crowds, but either way, on a Sunday afternoon, whether at Sunrise or Paradise, you'll have lots of company ;-).
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Old Aug 18th, 2005, 10:33 AM
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I agree. Doing the "full loop" of Mt Rainier is doable in one (long) day.

Keep in mind that the days are getting quite a bit shorter that time of year, so set out as early as you can

Ken
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Old Aug 18th, 2005, 12:35 PM
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Thanks all. NWW, we can consider going the Paradise first route - would that be better?? We thought it would be less traffic driving the other way.
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Old Aug 18th, 2005, 04:33 PM
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It is tiring to do the complete loop in one day. If you take the direct route to Paradise, and have a good map, you will find two waterfalls, a one-way road with great views of the Cascades, a canyon, and many other great photo opportunities.

By the time you get to Sunrise, you will have a long wait just to get through the gate.

Fair weather is predicted--have a great day.

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Old Aug 19th, 2005, 08:58 AM
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Happytrails, are you saying you recommend just the Paradise segment in one day and skip Sunrise? Your description of "direct route to Paradise" sounds wonderful, but would we miss more of the same by not doing the full route?? Thanks.
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Old Aug 19th, 2005, 12:48 PM
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Let’s put it this way: The Grayline Tour to Mt. Rainier takes 10 hours, and it doesn’t go to Sunrise.

The last time I did the complete circle, I was fifteen years younger and it pooped me out.

Nonetheless, Sunrise offers spectacular views of Mt. Rainier and, on a clear day, views of Mt. Adams to the south.

If you do the complete circle, you will drive go only 250-275 miles, but the travel is slow—7 to 8 hours of driving.

Despite any dots on your AAA map, the roads to the park from the west are not very scenic, and they are busy. (In contrast, the roads going east from the mountain over White Pass and Chinook Pass are very scenic.)

If you have a good map and guidebook, I think you will have a more enjoyable day if you visit the waterfalls, gorge, museum, old-growth forest, etc. in the vicinity of Paradise than if you do the complete circle.

Returning via the same route, the view will be completely different.

On the other hand, if you are very young or if you will feel you have missed something by not going to Sunrise, by all means go there. It is beautiful, and there won’t be much to do at your hotel near the airport other than to eat and sleep.


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Old Aug 19th, 2005, 12:53 PM
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I should add that, according to www.maps.yahoo.com (which I find to be very reliable), the drive from Seatac to Paradise is 98.9 miles and it takes 2 hours and 42 minutes (more if you stop to take photos or visit the museum in Longmire). As I said, the driving is slow going.
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Old Aug 19th, 2005, 06:26 PM
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Thanks so much for the reply, Happytrails. Have a wonderful weekend!
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