We built this tour for the travelers that believe that you can’t really know a place without knowing it’s local food and wine. Stunning landscapes and hushed hikes are paired with local cuisine and the region’s rising wine scene. You won’t find a tastier holiday…
We’ll take in incredible vistas, get feet moving while marveling at a mighty volcano, and sip wine while learning about the unique properties of Washington viticulture. Experience the mind-boggling transition as we move across the Cascade Range, from the emerald west into the high-desert east. We’ll hike every day and reserve an afternoon to explore the Yakima Valley in the heart of Washington wine country over wine tastings and a delicious, wine-paired dinner.
Day 1: Mt. Rainier National Park
The Nisqually Valley, Longmire, Narada Falls, & Paradise Valley
We’re leaving Seattle early this morning, because the tallest volcano in the continental United States is calling our name. Today we will climb up from sea-level to 5,400-ft, through old-growth forests, subalpine wildflower meadows, and rocky, alpine peaks to arrive in Paradise, WA. The southwestern flank of Mt. Rainier is one of the most revered destinations in the National Park – and lives up to its name! This afternoon, we’ll hike up towards Camp Muir, one of the two basecamps where mountaineers take shelter on their way to the summit. Having worked up our appetites, we’ll descend, heading straight over to our dinner spot, the dining room of the Paradise Inn, a 102-year-old lodge in the heart of the National Park. Afterward, we’ll head out of the Park via the stunning Stevens Canyon Road, making ourselves at home for the next two nights in Packwood, Washington.
Walking Distances: 6 to 8 miles (flexible options)
Accommodations: Cowlitz River Lodge
Dinner: Historic Paradise Lodge
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Day 2: The Yakima Valley
Naches Peak & Yakima Valley Wine Tasting!
Today we’re hiking the Naches Peak Loop which travels along the eastern side of Mt. Rainier, leaving the National Park and crossing over the Pacific Crest Trail as we go. Enjoy 3.5 miles of rolling trail, passing by icy, alpine lakes and keeping our eyes peeled for ripe huckleberries. After lunch, we’ll drive east from Naches Peak, leaving the temperate west for the heart of hops and vines. The difference just an hour’s drive can make will shock you. When people think of Washington, they think of rain, coffee, and evergreen forests (and Kurt Cobain). Being the second largest producer of wine in the country is one of the state’s best kept secrets and today you’ll be able to sample a little piece of it. We’ll taste wines at two different wineries and then visit a family-run restaurant featuring seasonal menus.
Walking Distances: 3.5 miles (600′ elevation gain)
Accommodations: Cowlitz River Lodge
Dinner: Wine-Paired Dinner
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Day 3: Mt. Rainier National Park
Sunrise Area, Glacier Basin, & Burroughs Mountain
Explore Sunrise, Mount Rainier’s gorgeous northeastern flank. 1,000-ft higher in elevation than Paradise – Sunrise is only accessible for three months out of the year. We’ll set out for Burroughs Mountain and Glacier Basin Trail, a 10-mile loop walk with plenty of freedom to photograph wildflowers, spy American Pika, and marvel at neighboring peaks. We’ll reapply our sunscreen and enjoy lunch on the trail to recharge after our climb. Once we return to our trusty tour van after a long, satisfying day in the wild – it’s back to Seattle where we go our separate ways. The evening is yours to take in a meal at one of Seattle’s fantastic restaurants and relish in your recent trip while dreaming about the next.
Walking Distances: 10 miles (flexible options, 3200′ elevation gain)
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Mount Rainier National Park Tour Details
Frolicking on trails surrounded by wildflower meadows, appreciating the succession of purple, pink and yellow petals across this abundant landscape.
Observing marmots foraging for their fill before they hibernate for the long winter. Following the sound of rushing water to babbling brooks and alpine waterfalls.
Crossing from National Park onto the Pacific Crest Trail at Naches Peak. Searching for ripe huckleberries while Rainier looms overhead.
Experiencing the extreme shift from temperate west to desert east as you cruise through the Chinook Pass. Witnessing the emergence of sage brush and rows upon rows of hops, grapevines and fruit trees.
Awakening your taste buds with the bold flavors of Washington Cabernet. Enjoying a locally-crafted dinner celebrating the flavors of the season.
A TripAdvisor 'Hall of Fame' guide.
National Park entry fees.
Overnight accommodations at Cowlitz River Lodge both nights.
Local, organic picnic lunches - served outside when the weather is right.
All meals are included: 3 breakfasts, 3 lunches, 2 dinners
Pick up and drop off in downtown Seattle.
Transportation throughout the tour.
Snacks, water, sparkling water, local wine, local adult beverages available throughout the tour.
Cowlitz River Lodge
This will be your home base for two evenings while you explore Mt. Rainier National Park! Cozy up by the fireplace in the great room at the end of the day and enjoy a night cap. All rooms have ensuite bathrooms, WiFi, peace and quiet.
The lodge has a delicious restaurant featuring Washington ingredients, a mercantile, and provides daily bundles of firewood for those staying in rooms with fireplaces!
Three Breakfasts: Pastries, fruit, coffee & tea on Day One, continental breakfast at the hotel on Days Two & Three.
Three Lunches: Local, organic picnic lunches - served outside in the National Park.
Appetizers: Wine and charcuterie served before dinner in Paradise looking up to the peak of Mt. Rainier on Day One.
Two Dinners: Northwestern cuisine at the historic Paradise Lodge on Day One, beautiful wine paired dinner at Crafted Yakima on Day Two.
Snacks, water, sparkling water, local wine and other adult beverages available throughout the tour.