Para, para, paradise...September 6, 2016 in the United States
Rain-ier is well named, this giant volcano cone rising up from the low coast to 14,000+ feet pushes damp air from the coast up with inevitable consequences. Fortunately we arrived to niceish weather and decided to make the most of it by hiking to Paradise! Unfortunately with the last of the flowers clinging on and damp, low, dense cloud Panorama Point didn't quite live up to its grand name.
Having woken to the rain we had a cozy lie-in then made our way back to the visitors centre which we had saved for a rainy day. As the east side gets significantly less rainer we headed east to Sunrise (they definitely win the prize for best names in National Parks), taking in the impressive v deep, water carved Box Canyon and the Geove of the Patriarchs (trees which amazingly were 500 years old when Columbus first landed!). As we settled into camp we were rewarded with the summit clearing and the snow laden slopes glistening in the afternoon sun.
We woke the next morning to glorious sunshine and rather than tackle the 2,220 ft in 2 miles, we drove to Sunrise which meant we could walk off the standard day hike map and up to the third borough (peaks on a ridge leading up to the main mountain). It was a spectacular walk with some we glorious views of the peak as the clouds cleared, and we reached the snowline with incredible views of the huge rugged glaciers that cover the top half of the mountain.Read more