Walking in a PNW Wonderland!

Seeing Mount Rainier for the first time.
Seeing Mount Rainier for the first time.

So as most of you know, I just came back from my 6 day trip to WA and fell absolutely in love with the state. WA marks the 25th state I’ve been to and out of those states, it tops all (in my opinion)!

Rather than doing one blog piece about my trip, I decided to divide the posts because I felt as though my trip came in several parts. Since my visit was short and sweet, I knew of at least two places I wanted to explore while there: Pikes Place Market and Mount Rainier.

So let me take you along to the most beautiful mountain I’ve ever seen, thus far. Mount Rainier peaks at a height of 14,409 ft. It is an active volcano and highest mountain of the state and Cascade Range of the PNW.

View of Mount Rainier from the plane at 26,000 ft.
View of Mount Rainier from the plane at 26,000 ft.

The mountain is about an hour and 45 minutes from Seattle. What amazed me, was how it looked SO close to us, yet it took us an hour and 45 minutes to get there. What’s also extraordinary about it, is that it follows you everywhere you go around certain parts of WA. At sunset, you can see the sun reflecting off the top of the mountain, turning it a light pink, from Kerry Park.

Sunset at Kerry Park in Seattle. You can see Mount Rainier in the distance.
Sunset at Kerry Park in Seattle. You can see Mount Rainier in the distance.

This view (above) was absolutely stunning. My friend brought me here to watch the sunset. I walked down to the rocks, closer to the water and sat down to watch the sun drown into the horizon. I watched as the sky painted an array of pink, orange, and yellow colors. The salty smell of the ocean lingered throughout the air and the cool, crisp fall breeze chilled my skin. It was quiet and serene with only the sounds of tiny, restless waves, gently crashing into the rocks and birds racing across the sky. And as the sun had fully disappeared, the sky grew pale and all that could be seen were the city lights of Seattle. Such a spectacular moment!

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The entire drive to Mt. Rainer was just as scenic as the mountain its self. All the trees were coated in a rainbow of leaves. It was a sea of foliage, everywhere.

As my friend and I receded further from the city and closer to the mountain, I couldn’t take my eyes off of it or anything else surrounding us. The scenic landscape was coated with the greenest pine trees I’ve ever seen.

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Nothing was greater than finally approaching the entrance to the mountain. As we ascended into the mountain, we made a few scenic stops to capture the beauty around us. My memories of the mountain will always remain vivid. The fresh smell of pine trees pervaded the air as we were encompassed by an endless amount of vegetation.

There are many sides of the mountain to climb or drive to. We made our way to the top of Paradise Valley, which is one of the trails that meanders further up the mountain. The trail, as you can imagine, was flooded with tourists from all around the world!

This was the start of the trail that leads to the top. You walk up a few stairs and then the rest of the path is flat, but inclined.
This was the start of the trail that leads to the top. You walk up a few stairs and then the rest of the path is flat, but inclined.

I don’t think many people took recognition to the quote on the front of the steps. When my friend and I tried taking pictures of it, it literally took us 10 minutes to wait for people to move out of the way, in order to get a clear picture of the whole thing. One kid just stood in the center of the steps for 5 minutes trying to tie his shoe, as I and other people waited for him to move so we could take a picture.

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This was our view the entire way up. From every single angle, there was so much to see and photograph. It was all so surreal. I couldn’t believe I had finally made it to one of America’s most beautiful mountains. Look at all those colors of red, yellow, green, and the bluest sky. Despite my cozy, knitted attire, it was a gorgeous 60 degrees! It wasn’t cold at all, but I still felt the need to wear a scarf and hat, just for looks!

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Driving up the mountain.

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Although we didn’t walk further up the trail, we were still graced by plenty of breathtaking views! This might just be my favorite mountain, yet! It really was like walking through a wonderland of pine trees and mountains or as I like to call it, “PNW wonderland.” There’s nothing I love more in life than being hugged by endless amounts of trees and mountains.

To my fiancé: I can’t thank you enough for this wonderful gift you gave me for my birthday. Knowing just how much I’m passionate about places like this, you sent me on my way to explore a state I’ve been wanting to visit for so long! Everywhere I went and everything I saw, I thought of you and how much I wished you were there with me. Someday, we’ll see it together! 

To my wonderful friends: Thank you so much for taking the time out of your busy lives to show me around the beautiful state of WA! I love being able to share my adventures with great friends. It’s truly a blessing to have you all in my life!