The sun is out, and the mountain is out! Just got back from a morning trip to Mount Rainier National Park, Washington to check out the Paradise Meadows wildflower blooming status. As it stands, the wildflower peak bloom has not arrived yet. It’s a bit behind this year due to the late spring thaw and cooler temperatures we have had this summer. But don’t let this news deter you from visiting the park. Paradise Meadows has some of the most varied and prolific wildflowers anywhere to be found in the world. There is an abundance of color, right now! As a matter of fact, I saw plenty of Scarlet Paintbrush, Magenta Paintbrush, pink Monkeyflower, pink Heather, Rosy Spirea, Bistort, Pearly Everlasting, Sitka Valerian Alpine Asters, Pasqueflower, Yellow Groundsel, Bear Grass, just to name a few. The Broadleaf Lupine is just getting started and will be covering large areas of the meadows in blue, soon.
In the image below, you can see lots of pink Heather in the foreground. The bits of white are the Sitka Valerian flowers and Bistort.
Along with the wildflowers are the biting insects! Be sure to wear long sleeves, long pants, and plenty of bug repellent. It never fails, that with all the clothing protection I wear, I always get bit on my hands and wrists. Don’t forget the bug spray on these areas! If you are there when the skies are blue, wear sunglasses and a brimmed hat. It is extremely bright up there, in the clear air and high altitude, with the light reflecting off the snow on the mountain. Temperatures can be deceiving, too. If it’s a hot day in the lowlands, it will be warm in the park, as well. The sun really heats you up fast, especially when hiking! If you plan on hiking on some of the high elevation trails, dress in layers. And please, don’t hike in scandals! The Paradise trails are steep in places. You need good foot support, especially when coming back down the trails! Don’t wear flat shoes without any kind of arch support, and make sure your walking shoes, hiking shoes or boots have plenty of toe pace. A nicely padded pair of hiking socks will help with comfort, too. You can purchase hiking socks in the park’s gift stores. If you have foot problems, an additional, stiff arch support may be just the thing you need. I use them, and they are a life saver! I couldn’t believe the difference they made for me on the trails! And last, but not least, a pair of trekking poles is a good thing to have to help you navigate the trails.
Enjoy this fantastic national park that the Pacific Northwest and America is blessed with!