“hike through sweetly scented meadows”
If your schedule allows you time to hike only one trail at Mount Rainier National Park, we recommend the Skyline Trail, especially on a sunny day. You'll hike through a variety of terrain ranging from sweetly scented meadows with wildflower displays to snowfields and the rubble of glaciers. The hike from Paradise to Panorama Point is world-class; tourists come from afar to experience the wildflower displays for which Paradise is famous. Not only are there views of Mount Rainier and the Nisqually glacier; on clear days there are views of the rugged Tatoosh Peaks, Mount Adams, Mount Saint Helens and Mount Hood. Be prepared for a variety of terrain on the Skyline Trail; sturdy boots are recommended. Forgot your boots? You can still safely experience the wonders of Paradise by strolling the shorter trails at Paradise with views accessible to all, including the Glacier Vista and Alta Vista Trails. Pick up a trail map at the Henry M. Jackson Visitor Center so you can plan your route. A first-time visitor may find the intricate maze of trails near Paradise initially confusing but trail junctions are well signed and you can get advice from the visitor-friendly Wilderness Information Center at the Henry M. Jackson Visitor Center. Be sure you stay on designated trails despite the temptation of avalanche lily-dotted meadows that invite one to stray. Park rangers and signs remind us that trampled flowers may not recover from human impact for decades, if at all. Luckily, the trail is so lavishly bordered with wildflowers you needn't leave the trail at all. The hike to Panorama Point via the Skyline Trail starts out on stone steps near the Visitor Center and climbs briefly uphill to a series of trail junctions. Turn right at the main junction; follow the signs to Panorama Point on the Skyline Trail. This main trail also provides access to Alta Vista, the Glacier Vista trail and other Paradise "flower" trails or viewpoints.
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Skyline Trail Loop
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