Top Ten Summer Parks

Mount Rainier National Park
  |  Gorp.com

Washington

This park is defined by the picturesque 14,411-foot Mount Rainier. And it is this peak that draws the crowds—more than two million people a year wend their way up Rainier's flanks. Most drive up twisty mountain roads to gape at sublime natural scenes: the summit cone, stark against a cobalt-blue sky; subalpine meadows spangled with summer wildflowers; steep-walled valleys scored into the mountain's flanks. Many visitors explore no further, but those hungry for adventure and wild places will find them by stepping off into the park's vast backcountry, latticed with more than 300 miles of trails. If you are looking for something in between, try a challenging bike ride up one of the park's steep roads. Sure, you might run into a few people, but don't let that stop you from indulging in one of the most spectacular of our national parks.


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