Before school started a few weeks ago, I finally had the opportunity to visit Mount Rainier National Park. I look at the mountain every day from my house on the hill on the tip of the Puget Sound. It was a humbling experience to see the peak so close. Of course I visited Paradise, the location of one of the most beautiful and pristine sub-alpine meadows. Wildflowers bloom and flourish for approximately six weeks each year after the snow finally disappears from the meadows surrounding the mountain. This year, the season was fairly late because of such heavy snowfall throughout the winter. From August to mid-September, wildflowers color the landscape in hues of purple, scarlet and yellow.
In 1889, conservationist and father of the National Park Service, John Muir, said the meadows at Mount Rainier were “..the most luxuriant and the most extravagantly beautiful of all the alpine gardens I have ever beheld in all my mountain-top wanderings” and that “of all the fire mountains which like beacons, once blazed along the Pacific Coast, Mount Rainier is the noblest.”
I was graced with a sunny, cloudless day with temperatures in the low 70s. Mount Rainier is one of the most beautiful National Parks I have ever visited and it’s located in my own backyard.
Mountain Bog Gentian
Magenta Indian Paintbrush (MY FAVORITE!)