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Mount Rainier Columbus Day Weekend

Level Contributor
22 posts
Mount Rainier Columbus Day Weekend

Were going to be in Western Idaho for a wedding the weekend of October 6th, and rather than turning around and flying back to the East coast the next day, I've been looking for ways to take advantage of being out that way by extending the visit by 2-3 days. Always wanted to check out Mount Rainier so I figured I'd check with the ever-helpful forum members here first. I've looked through previous posts going back to last Fall, but couldn't quite find what I was looking for, so wondering if anyone could help answer a few questions.

So it looks like the drive from ID to the Mount Rainier area is ~ 5 hours or so, meaning we'd probably be arriving at around 1 p.m. on Sunday the 7th, with availability to spend 2 nights in the area before driving to Seattle for a return flight. We'd be looking mainly to do some hiking and to take in the outdoors. Given that, can anyone help with any of the following?

- Is this a good time of year to visit? From what I've researched so far it sounds like this time of year should make for some scenic hiking, but that the weather could be particularly unpredictable and that some roads/ trails start closing around this time of year. Again, we'd have the afternoon of Oct. 7th, all day October 8th, and half a day on the 9th to work with.

- Any recommendations for this two-day itinerary? From the research I've done so far it sounds like Paradise and Sunrise are the two most recommended areas, and I've seen Longmire and Enumclaw mentioned frequently as well.

- Any specific lodging recommendations? (We generally tend to favor places that are closer to hotel-type lodging as opposed to more rustic, camping type options). Both recommendations for which area to stay in, as well as specific hotels/ lodges, etc. would be very helpful!

Thanks in advance for any assistance here. Greatly appreciated as always!

1 reply
Seattle, Wa
Level Contributor
5,927 posts
49 reviews
1. Re: Mount Rainier Columbus Day Weekend

Early October could be beautiful, but it also could be foggy/rainy/cold. A clear day in October is just spectacular, but there are definitely no guarantees.

Longmire is at the park entrance, but if it's clear you'd just want to drive through then head up to Paradise. If the Sunrise Road is still open and you have time, that's a beautiful and different view. There are hiking trails in both locations. Enumclaw is a suburb an hour away.

Edited: 11 June 2018, 11:13
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