Mount Rainier National Park Photography
The view from Highway 1 in Mount Rainier National Park, looking out over Reflection Lake, is one of the classic photo opportunities within the park. Upper Tipsoo Lake and Lower Tipsoo Lake provide excellent views and photo opportunities on the eastern side of the park. Interestingly, the lake across the street (Little Tipsoo Lake) is even prettier and much less crowded. Located right off the main road, the lake offers a scenic look at Mt Rainier and an unspoiled lake with a nice, mirror-like reflection.
On the southern side of Mount Rainier National Park, there is the opportunity to capture a reflection of Mount Rainer at Tissoo Lake, with a few red blooming plants in the foreground. You can shoot Mount Rainer high up on the ridge or from the lower one with it reflecting into the lake. Mazama Ridge is accessible from the Paradise Meadows parking lot by the Skyline Trail or from below by the Reflection Lakes. The Reflection Lakes area is slightly less well-known, so you may not see as many images of that spot as Reflection Lakes.
The area is ideal for sunrise shots, but you could also spend another 45 minutes there and get some more images. There are more options here than in the Reflection Lakes, as you can park at multiple locations, and each parking lot offers a different perspective (and interpretation) on the scene. These classic locations are just a half-mile away at Paradise Parking Area off Skyline Trail. If you park your car at the visitors center, there are plenty of trails branching out of the visitors center if you are into hikes.
The trails leading to Mt Rainer from Paradise Visitor Center are not too steep, and summer wildflowers provide an incredible backdrop. Just beyond the bridge, continuing on the hills, you will find meadows to shoot in and views of the Tatoosh range if you are looking at Mt Rainier from the opposite direction. Sourdough Ridge is located over the visitors center, so you can get away from the parking lot lights and get a clear, unobstructed view of Mount Rainier. Silverfort Trail winds around the sides of Sunrise District, taking you through forests and over exposed views, providing viewpoints of Rainier, White River, the Emmons Morraine Glacier, and the entire valley below.
Rainier National Park wedding photography is mainly known for Paradise Lodge. Still, I am completely open to exploring Sunrise or the rest of Rainier National Park, but we arrived in winter with dense fog up the mountain. If you love to capture sunrises, sunsets, and stars at national parks, then Sunrise Area in Mt. Rainier National Park is undoubtedly one location to check out and shoot that should go on your bucket list. You most likely will get luckier than we did with the weather.