We live just 2.5 hours (3 hours pulling a trailer) from one of the most beautiful National Parks in the states, and, until a year ago, we had never visited. We live at the base of Mt. Hood, and we figured that Rainier was just another Mountain in the Cascade Range…we were mistaken. Now, Mt. Hood is lovely, don’t get me wrong, but there is something majestic about the rugged peaks and the alpine meadows of Rainier. If you visit the Pacific Northwest, it’s a trip not to be missed – especially in August when the wildflowers are in full bloom!
The park tends to be very busy in August with the draw of sunny weather and wildflowers. It’s a great way to escape the heat as the daytime temperatures remain in the low 70s while it’s closer to 90 in the valleys. The National Park Campgrounds are large, but they fill up quickly and we weren’t able to get reservations for the weekend – no surprise there! Instead we found an RV park in Ashford located just a half mile from the park entrance called Mounthaven Resort. We were a bit skeptical about staying at an RV park, as we don’t like the idea of being lined up next to huge RVs with little to no privacy, but we decided to give it a try…we expected the worst but hoped for the best!
We pulled into the park around 8 pm and we were pleasantly surprised! The owner, Craig Geyer, extremely friendly and helpful, was there to meet us and help us get settled. The resort is a small family run business. You can tell that there is a lot of pride in ownership. There are eight cute cabins and 16 RV sites. The place is very family friendly and extremely clean. It was a nice place to return to after a day of hiking! An added benefit for us was the fact that they had an internet hot spot. There is no cell phone service anywhere in the park, in fact it’s about a 2o minute drive out of the park to pick up any cellular reception whatsoever, and with kids still at home, that bothers me. I like to be able to check in frequently! If you’re looking for a nice play to stay on the Mountain, I would certainly recommend that you check out Mounthaven Resort! Next, time we visit I’d like to get some photos of the cabin interiors…they were darling from what I could tell!
We spent a busy two days in the park! We were up early each day and were at Paradise by 7 a.m. each morning. The parking lots fill early and parking can be a nightmare. It was also a good excuse to treat ourselves to a wonderful buffet breakfast each day at the historic old lodge!! The food is wonderful!
The first day at the park we drove to Sunrise. At an elevation of 6,400 feet, Sunrise is the highest point that can be reached by vehicle at Mount Rainier National Park. The mountain meadows here were abound with wildflowers. Although, just a 60 mile drive from the Nisqually Entrance, it took us two hours to get there because we stopped so often to take in the scenery! There was much to see along the way!
To be continued……..