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Rising 4,400 meters above sea level, Mount Rainier stands as an icon in the Washington landscape. Despite being an active volcano, Mount Rainier is covered in glaciers that feed six major rivers. A short drive southeast of Seattle, Mount Rainier National Park offers excellent opportunities for scenic drives, hiking and mountain climbing. (On a clear day, you can see the peak from the city center.)

In the spring, a colorful array of wildflower meadows ring the icy volcano while ancient forest cloaks Mount Rainier’s lower slopes. Most roads are open from late May to early October, and all provide stunning views and access to a variety of hiking trails and other sites. Although it may be tempting to try and experience the whole park in one day, staying longer allows you to discover all the park has to offer.

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