3 National Parks Just a Day Drive Away
The area around Renton, Washington, is home to several national parks that offer stunning landscapes, diverse wildlife, and convenient facilities. Here’s some information on three beautiful national parks in the area that are well worth a visit.
Mount Rainier National Park
Mount Rainier National Park is located in Pierce and Lewis Counties in Washington. Towering over the vast landscape of the national park is Mount Rainier, a 14,411-foot stratovolcano. This awe-inspiring mountain boasts the most glaciated peak in the U.S. and is a very popular mountaineering spot. The surrounding land features luscious valleys, waterfalls, subalpine meadows, and over 91,000 acres of old-growth forest that’s home to an abundance of wildlife.
The park offers over 260 miles of maintained trails that vary in length and difficulty where visitors can enjoy the natural beauty the area has to offer. The Trail of the Shadows in the Longmire area, for instance, is a 0.7-mile loop trail that features a replica of an early homestead, while the Glacier Basin Trail in the Sunrise area is a 7-mile walk that affords visitors a view of the Emmons Glacier, which is the largest glacier in the lower 48 states.
Cyclists can cycle on the park roads but are not permitted on the hiking trails. If you feel like spending the night, the park offers two inns — National Park Inn and Paradise Inn — three car campgrounds, and various wilderness camping sites.
Olympic National Park
Olympic National Park, which is located in Washington state, has four regions: the Pacific coastline, the alpine areas, the temperate rainforest on the west side, and the drier east side. These regions feature diverse ecosystems and an abundance of wildlife. In the center of the park lies the Olympic Mountains that boast large and ancient glaciers.
The 75 miles of Pacific Coast, 600 lakes, and 4,000 miles of rivers that form part of the Olympic National Park offer extensive runs of wild salmon, trout, and char, which means the area is a fisherman’s paradise. The waters of this park is also a popular destination for paddlers and boaters. Hikers can wander along multiple trails that stretch over expansive beaches, and wind through forests, valleys, and over rugged mountain ridges. For those who want to stay for a while, the park features a variety of lodges that offer cabins, lodge rooms, and camping sites.
North Cascades National Park
North Cascades National Park is another national park in Washington state. This 500,000-acre park consists of several national forests and wilderness areas and also features the rugged mountain peaks of the North Cascades Range. In addition, the park offers the highest degree of biodiversity of any national park in the U.S. Ross Lake is a favorite spot for fishing and boating, while the rivers and streams in the park are great for rafting and kayaking.
The park also offers beautiful trails where hikers can enjoy the fauna and flora of the area. You can either opt for a peaceful stroll or get your adrenaline pumping by tackling steep climbs on trails like the Sourdough Mountain Trail that leads to the summit of Sourdough Mountain.
Next time you need to break free from the busy city life, head down to these gorgeous national parks in nearby Renton.
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