Panorama Point. Credit: Jennifer Johnson
Panorama Point at Mount Rainier
Wildflowers and views right from the parking lot, summer snow patches and a Hobbit-like outhouse.
When parents want glorious views and lovely flowers, but aren’t sure how long the kids will hike, the trail from Paradise to Panorama Point delivers something for everyone. If you can encourage or bribe youngsters to climb the steep paved paths in the first mile, the grade gets easier after that. You’ll find blossoms of every color in July and August, jaw-dropping views of the mountain and Nisqually Glacier, and snow patches that can persist through the summer. Clear days allow views to three other volcanoes. Panorama Point makes a good snack stop and turnaround spot, and parents will appreciate the stone privy with rounded door, composting toilet, toilet paper and skylight.
Details: 5 miles round trip, 1,300 feet elevation gain. Admission to the National Park required.