Did you know that Washington State has three National Parks? They are Mt. Rainier, Olympic and North Cascades! All are marvelous and worth many visits, especially if you live here as I do. 🙂
Lets start with Mt. Rainier National Park – just two hours south of Seattle, this one is closest and has everything, including the most beautiful mountain in the country! Some may beg to differ – I can hear protests from as far away as Alaska and California. Still, Rainier gets my vote and here’s one of my favorite pictures of the mountain at Reflection Lakes. Notice the brave ones on thin ice pointing out the view.
Not that you will find a bad view of the mountain anywhere.
And though it’s surely the centerpiece, there’s more to the park than Mt. Rainier. You’ll also find old-growth forest, lakes, rivers, and waterfalls.
Next up is Olympic National Park – just a few hours west of Seattle, it has the most diverse landscape of the three. In addition to the mountain range, lakes, rivers, and waterfalls, Olympic has a rainforest and ocean beaches too!
Hurricane Ridge provides the best view of the Olympic Mountains;
Lake Crescent is my favorite lake.
And here’s a sampling of the ocean beaches, some of the wildest and most remote in the country.
Finally, there’s North Cascades National Park – a hidden gem a couple hours north of Seattle. The rugged North Cascades are known as the American Alps, and are most accessible by hiking. The Skagit River flows through the park supplying hydroelectric power to the City of Seattle through several dams. We recently drove the scenic highway through the park and even on a gray and rainy day the colors were magnificent at the Gorge Trail Overlook;
And at the Washington Pass Overlook with views of Liberty Bell.
Well, that’s enough for now.
Can you tell which National Park is my favorite? Which one would you like to visit?