The wildflowers are blooming on Mount Rainier! In early August the meadows are usually at their most impressive: You'll find forest and subalpine blooms in every color.
Earlier this week, the National Park Service posted that subalpine meadows are hitting peak bloom on Mount Rainier, so now is a great time to grab the kids and the camera and head to the mountain.
Good spots to view wildflowers with kids
This week head to Deadhorse Creek Trail in Paradise and the Palisades Lake Trail at Sunrise. You'll find a rainbow of beautiful wildflowers sprinkling the meadows with color. Another easily accessible destination for wildflower viewing is Tipsoo Lake.
Mount Rainier is home to hundreds of species of wildflowers. Learn about them all in this handy wildflower identification guide, organized by color.
Before you hit the trails, watch some videos of the wildflower meadows with your kids. They'll learn what to look for, and they'll feel like botany experts when they can correctly identify blooms.
Do explore, but watch your step
It may be August, but there’s always snow on Mount Rainier. You might be tempted to wander off the path in order to avoid a patch of melting snow, however, going off-trail could trample the wildflowers you came to enjoy. Stay on the marked trails –even if that means crossing snow – particularly in the meadows around Paradise and Sunrise. Don’t’ worry: There are plenty of picturesque backdrops for selfies from the trails.
Visit the park for free
Don't forget that the National Park Service has a free admission day on August 25. By late August, frost can sometimes put an end to peak-season blooming. But even after a light frost, the meadows continue to be very beautiful, thanks to changing leaf colors.
Another idea for saving money on National Park admission: 4th graders can get a free parks pass.
Other National Parks to explore
While Mount Rainier's subalpine meadows are a beautiful location for wildflower viewing, you'll find pretty flowers at all three of Washington's National Parks. Read our tips for exploring Washington National Parks with your family.