Carbon River Park Entrance
The Carbon River entrance to the Park offers tremendous beauty and yet another unique area of Mt. Rainier. This area allows visitors t0 experience a unique ecosystem within the park-and inland temperate rainforest. Here processions of moisture-laden clouds deposit copious amounts of precipitation-between 70 and 90 inches of rainfall annually upon this deep canyon embracing the roaring, glacier-fed Carbon River. With its low elevation of 1,900-feet and mild winter temperatures, snow is rare in the Carbon River Valley. While most of the park is shrouded in white for over half of the year, the Carbon River Valley remains verdant and snow free. Hikers can roam the trails of the Carbon Valley all winter long. And hiking is the main activity in this part of the park, as visitor facilities are minimal and the Carbon River Road is no longer open to vehicles. Closed at the Carbon River Ranger Station, the Carbon River Road is one of the few places mountain bikes are allowed within the national park. Park officials will be putting bike racks in place at the trailheads along the Carbon River Road, which will allow for the unique experience of bike and hike outings. And since the 5.0-mile Carbon River Road is virtually level, it’ll be perfect for children, adults towing children and folks looking for an easy bike ride.
Mowich Lake, Spray Falls and Tolmie Peak
Are you a hiker who takes pictures or are you a photographer who likes to hike? No matter, photo opportunities abound, ranging from a short hike to Spray Falls or the moderately-strenuous hike to Eunice Lake/Tolmie Peak. Hikers will find much to photograph at Mowich Lake; short spurs lead to lakeshore views with subsidiary peaks rising above the lake and the historic Mowich Lake Patrol Cabin (Mowich is the Native American word for “deer”). Photographers will find masses of avalanche lilies bordering the lake as snow recedes. Several other trails will tempt photographers to hike further including the Wonderland Trail to other points of interest, including to a viewpoint of Spray Falls.
Hungry ?Carbonado Saloon-Home of the best burger. Carbonado Saloon provides a complete menu along with an awesome variety of adult beverages to satisfy every taste. Stop in and enjoy the history of the Carbonado Area Burnett Store-The private owned Argos Burnett Store provides a full deli menu plus a variety of snacks and beverages. Stop by their convenient location along highway 165 before heading into the backcountry of The Carbon River at the Northwest Entrance to Mount Rainier National Park. Wilkeson Eagels-Located in Wilkeson Washington and open to the public on Thursday and Friday nights. The eagles, building built in approximately 1910, (with a fully upgraded kitchen) servies a full menu of yummy dinner options featuring slow cooked to perfection prime rib every Friday night. The Wilkeson Eagles also provides much history and culture of days gone by in this unique area of Washington State.
Chinook Scenic Byway
- Recognized as a premier driving tour in Washington State, the Chinook Scenic Byway travels through the Mt. Baker-Snoqualmie National Forest and Mount Rainier National Park. Experience the diverse landscape of the Central Cascades, from Enumclaw and the glacier-fed White River Valley to the west, up and over 5,430′ Chinook Pass, to the fertile valley of Naches to the east. Spectacular views of Mount Rainier, dense forests, towering peaks, rocky ridges and river canyons dominate this journey. Pass by the unique basalt flows of the Columbia Plateau, old growth forests, lush subalpine meadows, a world-class ski area and numerous streams, lakes and waterfalls. Not only will you find breathtaking scenery, but endless opportunities for outdoor fun and recreation await.
A winter playground and summer oasis, Crystal Mountain Resort lies on the sunny side of Mt Rainier, just six miles from the Northeast entrance to Mt. Rainier National Park. Nestled amid stunning forests, wildflower-filled meadows and pure Washington wilderness, Crystal is a fun and relaxing escape any time of the year. The brand new Mt. Rainier Gondola, open November – September, is a scenic 10-minute ride to breathtaking views of Mt. Rainier and far beyond. Washington’s highest restaurant, the Summit House, is next to the gondola and open for lunch on all days the gondola is operating, and offers weekend dinners and Sunday brunches during the summer.
Sunrise Visitor Center
Known as the highest drivable point within the national park, Sunrise is situated in the high alpine meadows of Yakima Park with stunning, close-up views of the massive Emmons Glacier and expansive fields of wildflowers that carpet the meadows during Sunrise’s short summer season. The scenic splendor of Sunrise easily rivals the well-known Paradise area. And as its name suggests is also one of the first places in the park to capture morning’s early light. Sunrise is openseasonally from early June – late September. The park offers an excellent Visitor Center at Sunrise with exhibits that tell the story of the Sunrise–the volcanic forces that created the mountain, the glaciers that mold the landscape, the plant and animal life of the subalpine meadows, and the tribes that are tied to the area. During the summer, special programs are offered including guided walks and talks on a variety of topics.