Mount Rainier National Park Travel Photography
Mount Rainier National Park Photographer’s Paradise
With its stunning landscapes and vistas, the park is a great place to capture some beautiful shots. There are plenty of great spots within the park to snap some photos, including:
- The Paradise Visitor Center: You can get some great views of Mount Rainier and the surrounding area.
- Reflection Lakes: These lakes offer great reflections of Mount Rainier, making for some beautiful photos.
- Sunrise Point: As the name suggests, Sunrise Point is a great spot to capture the sunrise.
- Panorama Point: This point offers panoramic views of Mount Rainier and the surrounding area. So, whether you’re a professional photographer or a hobbyist, Mount Rainier National Park is a great place to get some great shots.
- There are many other great spots to do photography; see the list below.
Panorama Point: This point offers panoramic views of Mount Rainier and the surrounding area. So, whether you’re a professional photographer or a hobbyist, Mount Rainier National Park is a great place to get some great shots.
Mount Rainier National Park is in Washington State, a great state. We loved this trip; although we hit a lot of rain in June, it was still incredible. Some rainforest areas that the staff fell in love with that changed our whole perspective on rain. The elk just blew us away. We stood with this pack of elk for over an hour with our Canon 100-400mm lenses. We were all waiting for the baby to wake up and stand up. Mama fell asleep while we were next to her, telling her to wake up the baby. They let Pam right into the herd.
The mountain rises quickly, with elevations of a little over 14,000 feet. There are valleys, waterfalls, and more than 25 glaciers. There was a volcano that we didn’t see. It was shrouded in clouds. There are enormous amounts of rain and snow in this park. That’s what makes unbelievable rainforests possible.
Mount Rainier Is known for:
• Breathtaking vistas, forests, and waterfalls.
• In the extreme west of Washington state.
• National Park visitor center.
• More than five million visitors.
• A portion of the park was designated a national conservation area.
Mount Rainier National Park Photography Locations
Reflection Lake – Lower Tipsoo Lakes, Little Tipsoo Lake
Reflection Lake, Upper and Lower Tipsoo Lakes, and Little Tipsoo Lake offer spectacular mirrored reflections of the majestic mountain that will take your breath away.
The trail to Mazama Ridge is easily accessible from the Paradise Meadows parking lot by the Skyline Trail or from lower viewpoints at the Reflection Lakes. Dawn brings an awe-inspiring sight of Mount Rainer reflecting in Tissoo Lake, surrounded by vibrant red blooming plants. Multiple parking lots give photographers different perspectives to capture this magnificent scene as they journey along these classic routes in this untouched wilderness.
The trails snaking their way up Mt Rainier from Paradise Visitor Center are not too steep, with summer wildflowers blooming in thousands of colors as a backdrop. Taking the bridge over the river, a meadow appears, where if you look in the opposite direction of Mount Rainier, you can spot the majestic Tatoosh range.
Sourdough Ridge sits just above the visitor’s center, untainted by artificial lights, so you can get a dazzling view of Mount Rainier uninterrupted.
Silverfort Trail surrounds Sunrise District, winding its way between lush forests and sensational vistas. It provides breathtaking views of Rainier’s silhouette, White River, Emmons Morraine Glacier, and the valley stretched below.
A wedding photoshoot at the legendary Paradise Lodge awaits those lucky to visit Mount Rainier, National Park.
We arrived during winter when fog blanketed the mountain like a thick grey blanket. If you’re seeking sunrises, sunsets, and stars that will take your breath away, then Sunrise Area at Mt. Rainier National Park should be at the top of your list. You’ll probably have better luck than us with weather conditions.
Mount Rainier National Park Photography – We came into the park on Route 706 East. This great little town on the way in has some spots you will want to stop and photograph. You can see the little church, The Mount Rainer Scenic Railroad, and just a few cool things around the small town. It’s a good time to stop here for food at the Mount Rainer Railroad Dining Co. Be sure to get some food and or snacks. There is only one more stop for food along the way and again at the top of the mountain, and it’s costly.
There are a few spots not to miss along the way for photography and the family. Ex Nihilo Sculpture Park, along the way to Mt. Rainier National Park, is the brainchild of Washington artist Daniel Klennert. This is a must-stop spot, especially if you are an artist. If you are traveling with family, they can stay busy while you have time to take some pictures. Right past there, on the way to the park, stop here and pick up some goodies. It’s all one road, so you can’t get lost.
BEST TIME TO GO
Weather: If embarking on a journey to Mount Rainier, careful consideration must be taken regarding the current season, weather conditions, and peak tourist times. As a word of caution, the months between November and March are not recommended for visiting as they bring heavy snowfall and bitterly cold temperatures that impede travel and limit access to certain parts of the park.
Experience the breathtaking beauty of Mount Rainier National Park during the summer months when the weather is at its most pleasant. Average temperatures rise from a crisp 54.7°F in June to a comfortable 64.5°F in August, with lows ranging from 36.2°F to 43.9°F respectively. The chance of rain is minimal, with only 4.1in June and an even lower 2 in July and August. Plus, there’s no need to worry about snow as it rarely falls, measuring just 5.6in in June and a mere 0.1in in August. So come and enjoy the perfect summer weather while exploring all Mount Rainier offers.
Most Affordable: For those on a budget, the most affordable time to visit is in December or January. Accommodations can also be found at reasonable rates, averaging around $120 per night, with added perks like breakfast included at select hotels. To secure these deals, planning your trip in advance is best.
Tips for an enjoyable visit and avoiding congestion:
– Visit on weekdays and avoid peak hours
– Have an alternate plan in case of long lines or delays
– Use the NPS App to find nearby destinations within the park
– Consider using an annual pass to minimize entrance station wait times
– Check for road closures before traveling
HOW LONG TO PHOTOGRAPH
You can easily spend a full two days at the park doing photography. It, of course, all depends on how much hiking you do and what else you like to do.
WHAT PHOTOGRAPHY GEAR TO BRING
Everything! There are long-exposure waterfalls, wildlife, macro photography and Milky Way opportunities so you will need all your gear.
Tripod, zoom lens, wide angle lens, ND filters, extra batteries and memory cards.
WHAT ESLE TO BRING
Hiking boots, bug spray (seasonally), cold weather gear, and temperatures can suddenly change.
HOW TO GET THERE
Mount Rainier National Park Photography – We visited the park on Route 706 East. This great little town on the way in has some spots you will want to stop and photograph. You can see the little church, The Mount Rainer Scenic Railroad, and just a few cool things around the small town. It’s a good time to stop here for food at the Mount Rainer Railroad Dining Co. Be sure to get some food and or snacks. There is only one more stop for food along the way and again at the top of the mountain, and it’s costly.
DATES and HOURS OF OPERATION
Call the park at 360-569-2211 to confirm road and facility status or check the website for current information. During the snow season, some roads close. Information changes seasonally. SEE THE CURRENT DETAILS HERE.
OTHER PHOTOGRAPHY NEARBY
- Olympic National Park
- Mount Saint Helens
Christine Falls – Mount Rainier National Park
Mount Rainier National Park – Christine Falls
This spot is not to miss as you drive along the road to Mount Rainier. There are few places to park off this busy spot, but you should find enough parking spots if you get there early on a weekday. We enjoyed this spot for about an hour, and it was one of the only picturesque areas we found on our journey. We visited this day solely to photograph it. It was cloudy/foggy and rainy that day, so we did not experience some of what Mount Rainier had to offer viewing-wise.
We had to find the exact place to see the falls without the tree limbs our way. This first picture was shot at four sec. f/22, ISO 100. f/22 and ISO 100 are standard for your waterfall photography, and you must be on a tripod to do a long exposure. Your shutter speed will vary depending on your filter. We like the Tiffen 1.2, which we used here. It only gives a slight color cast and is easily correctable. It was enough on a cloudy/rainy day to easily allow a 4-second exposure. See Neutral Density Filters and learn about them here if you are unfamiliar with them. Have some lens clothes handy when shooting in the rain, and don’t forget your lens hood and camera raincoat.