The USA's fifth-highest peak outside Alaska, majestic Mt Rainier is also one of the country's most beguiling mountains. Part of a 368-sq-mile national park (inaugurated in 1899), the mountain's snowcapped summit and forest-covered foothills boast numerous hiking trails, swaths of flower-carpeted meadows and an alluring peak that presents a formidable challenge for aspiring climbers. The park website includes downloadable maps and descriptions of 50 park trails, plus links to current weather and road conditions.
Park entrance fees are valid for seven days.
The driving loop around the mountain is 147 miles (driving time is about five hours without stops) and the main roads are usually open mid-May through October.