Make Crystal Mountain your base camp for fun summer activities and adventures around Mount Rainier. Located just 6 miles from the northeast entrance to Mt. Rainier National Park, the resort is the perfect place to start your scenic outdoor adventures and lay your head at the end of each day.
Sunrise Visitor Center at Mount Ranier National Park
You will want to drive the road to Sunrise, elevation 6,400 feet, as it is the highest point to which you can drive in the park and it offers spectacular views. Hikers and non-hikers alike will appreciate that on a clear day, you can see five of the Cascade volcanoes from Sunrise Point. Clockwise from Mt. Rainier are Mt. Baker, Glacier Peak, Mt. Adams and Mt. Hood.
The Sunrise Visitor Center is always worth a visit with exhibits on the natural resources of the park and emphasis on the geologic story of Mt. Rainier. In the summer special programs are offered including guided walks and talks on a variety of topics. At Sunrise you will also find restrooms, grill and gift shop, and several hiking trails, many of them leading to scenic overlooks on easy paths suitable for non-hikers. Be sure to include a trip to the interesting Mt. Fremont Lookout.
The small community of Greenwater simply bustles in the summer. It’s the last place to get gas on this side of the Park (!) plus it boasts the historic Naches Tavern, Wapiti Woolies, whose hats have been to the top of Everest, and other places to shop or grab something to eat.
Federation Forest State Park
This 619-acre park is a testament to the forward thinking of some women who, in the 1940s, decided it was important to preserve some old-growth timber during the rush towards logging.
Suntop Lookout Drive
Trails.com rates this 38 mile drive #2 on its list of best off-road drives in Washington: “The main road runs along Huckleberry Creek, passes a beautiful hiking trail into an old-growth forest, and then crosses high Huckleberry Ridge. There, from an elevation of more than 4,800 feet, you will have yet another view across a vast, tumultuous landscape of steep and deep canyons and seemingly endless mountain ranges. On graded gravel and native-surface roads.”
The view of Mt. Rainier reflected in Tipsoo Lake is one of the most photographed in the whole park! Also, many photographers say that the wildflowers at Tipsoo Lake rival anything found at Paradise.