On the South slope of Mount Rainier, you'll find a beautiful place named "Paradise". It really could not be named more perfectly! My family and I had been talking about taking a day trip for months and we finally found time! So we loaded up the picnic baskets with lunch and took the drive, ready to devour the beauty.
If you haven't been to this side of Rainier, I really urge you to check it out. It's incredible and pictures don't do it justice. In the summer, the wildflowers are spectacular! My family knew there was a lovely visitors center to check out, with the history behind Paradise but we were more interested in walking some of the paved pathways around the meadow. We also wanted to see the waterfall that can be viewed from the pathways as well. My fathers is in his 80s and can not walk for very long, but we brought a folding chair for him, as he decided to just unfold the chair on the side of the path and sit and wait for us. Which I realize sounds so funny, to just leave him on the side of a pathway! But he had the best view of the meadow and surrounding mountainous area to take in. Plus he chatted with all the friendly people who passed him by.
Did I mention there is wildlife? We had a couple bears cross the pathway about 100 feet away from us. I was pretty scared and just turned right around, but there were photographers taking advantage and moving closer! I was surprised to say the least. A ranger we saw nearby said the bear and her cub are locals and are just searching for berries. And that we should always use caution and not go close. My sisters and my mom and I went the opposite direction, towards the wide open meadow and the wildflowers.
On our way toward the wildflower filled meadow, we passed the popular waterfall. It was really pretty! Definitely the most popular area for photos, so we didn't stay long. We snapped a shot and continued on the path to look for wildflowers. It is just so lovely out there, you feel as though you are in a scene from The Sound of Music. I could not recommend this day trip more.