We should be almost to peak wildflower season at Mt. Rainier! Here are some hikes that are kid friendly and have great wildflowers. Just look at those pics! If you want to make sure you’re going at peak bloom time, I also have the scoop on how to do that!
There are several easy hikes for families at Mt.Rainier with great views of wildflowers. The most famous ones head out from the visitors’ centers at Sunrise and Paradise. These are popular spots, so you may want to go on a weekday or get an early start. Otherwise, you can expect lots of company. We think the views will be worth it! How to know what’s blooming? The folks at Mt. Rainier actually keep this page updated with the latest bloom reports! Scroll down to where it says, “Currently blooming.” As always, we do advise bringing along the Ten Essentials, and checking Wta.org for the most current trip reports on any hike you’re considering. Some trails still have snow believe it or not!
With all that out of the way……
Here a few kid friendy wildflower hikes to choose from
- Naches Peak Loop-One of my favorite hikes in the park; you’ll get great views of meadows and the mountain. The hike is just under four miles, and the elevation gain is mild. A great family hike! More here
- Sheep Lake-Gorgeous views on a family friendly hike that ends in a lake! The very first part of this hike requires some caution as you go along a ridge above the highway. After that, it’s a gentle climb through forest to the lake. Do take some bug spray; we got eaten alive on this one in August one year. This hike is just outside of the park, so you don’t need a permit if you want to camp, and you can take the dog! More here
- Alta Vista A short loop of just 1.5 miles on mostly paved trails. This hike is proof that you don’t have to work hard to see some of the best scenery on the planet, and it’s a fine choice for your out of town guests, as long as they don’t mind company. This hike out of Paradise will be as thick with people as it is with flowers.
- Bench and Snow Lake Another great hike for beginners. It’s under three miles! As with all the hikes on this list, you’ll need bug spray-any alpine lake destination is going to have plenty of ’em!
For more hikes near Mt.Rainier, see this post. You will have to get a pass to enter the park. If you happen to have a 4th grader, you can get yours for free!
There is also a free day coming up in August, but not until the 25th. I think that will be past peak bloom time, though the mountain will still look gorgeous!
I’ve also put my Amazon links to two of my very favorite hiking guides below. One is specific to Mt.Rainier and has hikes for all levels, and one has hikes for kids all over Western Washington. Both are great, and there is a new code out from Amazon if you want to pick them up. Just use PRIMEBOOKS17 and you’ll save 5.00 off a 15.00 book purchase. It is one time use, and they have to be physical books sold by Amazon. They don’t have to be hiking guides-I’ve got about a million Captain Underpants titles in my cart for some strange reason……
Photos courtesy of and used with permission from VisitRainier.com