Mount Rainier is probably the most iconic scene in Washington State, and there’s no better way to explore it than hiking one of its many trails. Just a 2.5 hour drive from Seattle, Mount Rainier National Park is perfect for a day trip, with hikes of all different lengths and levels. But perhaps the best view of the mountain can be found at Reflection Lakes, located in the Paradise region.
In only 2.75 miles roundtrip, the Reflection Lakes Loop trail offers sweeping views of mountain ranges and blooming wildflower meadows. Begin your hike at the base of mountain — the trailhead is located right off of Stevens Canyon Road. From there, drop down to the lake and hike counterclockwise!
While some parts of the trail can get steep, I’d say that the hike is moderate and definitely doable for someone who isn’t a “hiker.” If anything, it’s a great workout, and the views are so worth it!
The best surprise, about halfway through the hike, was reaching Faraway Rock and being welcomed by the most peaceful view of the Tatoosh Mountain Range and the ever so blue Louise Lake. It was such a magical moment I’ll never forget.
Just beyond Faraway Rock is a small “hidden” pond — Fairy Pond is not on the map, but it’s hard to miss! There’s something so special about this quiet spot in the middle of the mountain.
While there are so many trails and regions of the park to explore, the Reflection Lakes Loop is a great choice because you get to see it all — mountains, wildlife, flowers, and lakes. There’s a reason they call the area Paradise! It was such a fun adventure and I can’t wait to come back someday and hike the other trails. Have you been to Mount Rainier National Park before? What are some of your favorite hikes?