Sounds like a yell from a street vendor, doesn’t it? Well, in a way, that’s what I’m trying to do, except I’m not selling anything. What I am telling the world is that one should get on over to Mount Rainier National Park to experience first hand the colors and smells of the subalpine meadow wildflowers that are at peak bloom—right now! I spent much of the day yesterday hiking the Paradise trails, and my jaw dropped at the carpets of wildflowers everywhere. Usually one drops their jaw at the sight of the mountain itself, but this time it’s a double treat! Because of the extended snow melt-out this year, spring blooms are mixed in with summer blooms at the same time. The result: a dense carpeting of smells and colors I’ve rarely experienced before. The early blooming Avalanche Lilies are mixed in with the Blue Lupine, Indian Paintbrush, and dozens of other colorful wildflowers.
I hiked on the Alta Vista and the Skyline Trails up to the Glacier Vista viewpoint. On the way up I suggest taking the Alta Vista trail, as you will get a panoramic view of a really large valley below, and you’ll be able to see some of the other popular trails far below. You’ll most likely spot the numerous marmots that have their homes alongside the rocky cliff sides as well.
If you do want to visit the park within the next week or so while the wildflowers are still at their peak, I strongly suggest arriving at the Paradise parking lot early in the morning to do your hiking. The local temperatures are going to getting blazing hot this week and it’s not going to be much cooler up there as the day progresses. Bring plenty of water along with you on your hike and perhaps an energy bar or two. And please, please wear hiking shoes, not flat soled shoes or sandals! A good pair of padded socks will help as well. If you have trekking poles, bring them along too. Trust me, they really come in handy! Oh, and don’t forget the insect repellant! Happy trailing!