Mount Rainier and Washington State’s Beauties
I got an opportunity to visit several amazing places in Washington a few years back, while on a business trip. Due to the nature of the trip, I got a chance to drive through the countryside of the state of Washington. Mount Rainier, St. Helens, and the Cascade Range are just a few places I visited. They were breathtaking, and I loved every single second of the trip.
If you are a traveler, adventurer, nature lover, explorer, or just passing by Washington State in a must-see place.
Mount Rainier is the highest mountain in the state of Washington, and an active volcano.
You can also visit Mt. St. Helens from Mount Rainier by driving from Packwood to Windy Ridge. The roads are all paved and you will see the amazing scenery along the way.
Visitor Center Hours: 9:00 am – 5:00 pm
Fees or Pass: Required. Check site for specific fee (different options)
Permits: Wilderness Permit for overnight. Climbing Permit for over 10,000 feet.
Restrictions: Pets not allowed except on Pacific Crest Trail and parking lots, campgrounds, and on paved roads (must be leashed).
Mount St. Helens is a national monument established by President Regan in 1982 after the volcanic eruption in 1980. More than 100,000 acres of land following the eruption have been dedicated to research and recreation.
Most people either go to Johnston Ridge Observatory or Windy Ridge to see St. Helens. From Windy Ridge, you can see Spirit Lake and its beauty. At Windy Ridge, there are around 400 steps to climb to the top for an amazing view of the volcano, but keep in mind it’s not wheelchair assessible.
Visitor Center Hours: Monday- Friday 8:00 to 4:00
Fees or Pass: Recreation Pass
Restrictions: Off-trail travel, dogs, livestock, fires, bicycles, and camping
Ape Cave, a lava tube, is another awesome destination for your vacation in Washington State. It’s located just south of St. Helens in the Gifford Pinchot National Forest, and provides a different view of St. Helens.
It’s definitely not for everyone, but if you like caves and exploring, bring extra source of light and spare batteries.
Length: 2.8 miles (round-trip)
Elevation: Gain: 350 ft., Highest Point: 2450 ft.
Fee or Pass: Northwest Forest Pass
Restrictions: No food, pets, smoking, rock collecting, or touching the walls.
The Cascade Range is a national park complex, with many trails, lakes, water falls, and natural beauty. On the official site of the park, you can find a list each trail for day trips, backpacking, or camping.
I really would suggest careful planning and choosing of what you want to visit because there is a lot to see.
Visitor Center Hours: 9 am – 5 pm
Fee or Pass: No entrance fees. Backcountry permits required overnight stays.
Restrictions: Pets are not allowed in the national park complex. Only allowed on the Pacific Crest Trail, and within 50 feet of roads. Service animals are allowed for those with disabilities.
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