My dad and his girlfriend, Pat and Katie, visited us over the weekend. My dad had the brilliant idea to stay at Paradise Inn in Mount Rainier National Park in order to spend time together and explore the area. Despite the rainy weather, we were able to hike to some beautiful waterfalls and even play around in the snow (in June!). On our drive to the inn from Seattle, we made a few stops at overlooks and waterfalls, including Christine Falls and Narada Falls. Due to the long drive and the rain, we decided to make our way to Paradise Inn to dry off and have some warm food.
There wasn’t any cell service or Wi-Fi at the inn so we had to keep ourselves busy with puzzles and games. We were a little too ambitious with the puzzle and managed to place only about half of the 500 pieces. When we weren’t working the puzzle, we spent our time solving crosswords, word scrambles, and cryptoquotes. King of Tokyo, a favorite board game for me and Sean, was another source of offline entertainment. We gave dad and Katie a proper introduction to the game and then made our ways to bed in order to be well rested for the long day ahead.
It was another rainy day but we were not going to be deterred. However, this did mean that I was much more hesitant to take out my camera so I apologize for the lack of photos. With the help of the rangers at the Visitor’s Center near our inn, we made a plan to hike the Silver Falls Loop with the addition of the Grove of the Patriarchs trail. On the way to Silver Falls Loop, we made a few quick stops. First was at Reflection Lakes which was covered in snow and mist, granting it a mysterious yet calming aura. Next, we stopped at Box Canyon for a ½ mile loop over Box Canyon Falls. It was difficult to really capture the depth of the canyon in a photo but from the bridge where I took the photo, we were about 115 ft. above the water’s surface. About 5 miles of hiking the Silver Falls Loop and Grove of the Patriarchs trail rewarded us with sights of the exhilarating power of Silver Falls and the swaying suspension bridge at Grove of the Patriarchs. By the time we made it back to the car, we were all properly exhausted and decided to head back to the inn for a relaxing dinner and night of games.
On our final day in Mount Rainier National Park, we decided to make the most of the cleared up weather and fit in another hike to see Christine Falls and Comet Falls. We had seen Christine Falls from the road but hiking up a short way to see the higher parts was well worth it. As with much of the water in this park, the water was a beautiful blue with powerful rapids that have shaped the surrounding stone into gorgeous curved masterpieces. As we gained elevation, we noticed more and more snow on the ground and after about a mile and a half, the snow became too difficult to pass. Luckily, we were still able to get a glimpse of Comet Falls and even saw a black bear (shoutout to Oscar!) on the other side of the ridge. To add to this, we witnessed other wildlife like two baby mice, a chipmunk, and some Stellar’s Jays. Fully satisfied with our weekend adventures, we said goodbye to Mount Rainier National Park and headed home to Seattle.
Thanks for letting me share an awesome weekend with you all!