One day in Mt. Rainier NP with kids

Old Jun 29th, 2022, 11:45 AM
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One day in Mt. Rainier NP with kids

We are tentatively planning a trip for next June or July with our 3 kids (aged 4-11) with a plan to spend 3-4 nights at an airbnb near Olympic NP, 2 nights in Seattle, and then we were hoping to squeeze an overnight in around Mount Rainier NP. My older two love collecting their junior ranger badges and would be so excited to see/ touch snow in the summer. We will have 8-9 days altogether for our trip, but I'm not sure if we're trying to squeeze in too much. If not, where should we target hiking/ entering in Mt. Rainier? The main objectives would be snow and mountain scenery (or scenery that is distinct from the scenery we would find in Olympic) plus family friendly / distance to SEA. Thank you so much in advance.
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Old Jun 29th, 2022, 02:44 PM
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Go into the park on Rt. 706 through Ashford and Longmire. Visit the Henry M. Jackson memorial visitor center. If you can score a night in a motel in Packwood WA, it would be a great day. Packwood is the only town where I have seen a herd of elk crossing a US highway (US 12). If there is not snow near the visitor center, they can tell you where to find it.
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Old Jun 30th, 2022, 07:23 AM
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You can consult the park's webcams - Webcams - Mount Rainier National Park (U.S. National Park Service) (nps.gov) - to see how things are looking. You'll almost certainly be able to access snow (albeit probably dirty snow as you can see in the "visitor center" image) until mid-July at least. Of course with climate change nothing is certain, but usually there's still 5 or 6 feet of snow at or near the Jackson visitor center on July 1, i.e. tomorrow.

It's around a 2 1/2-hour drive from Seattle to the Paradise area, so you don't have to overnight close to the park if you don't want to.

Another option, should you come in, say, early to mid-June, would be to visit the Crystal Mountain ski area, where a gondola will take you up to where you're pretty much eye-level with Mt. Rainier. There will probably be snow patches (or more) on the ground at the top of the gondola run, along with a nice cafe and some hiking trails. Roundshot Livecam - Crystal Mountain Resort
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