If you are planning to visit Mount Rainier for a day, i would advice the following route. This route gives you lot of different angles of the peaks, short trails for the avid trekker and lot of beautiful waterfalls for the photographer.
- Enter the Mount Rainier National Park from the Nisqually Entrance.
- Drive to the Kautz Creek Bridge.
- Drive to Longmire, walk the trail of the shadows and visit the Longmire museum.
- Go on the Carter Falls trail.
- Stop at Christine Falls.
- Drive through the Ricksecker Point Loop Road.
- Go on the short trail to Narada Falls.
- Visit the Paradise Visitor Center and go for any of the dozens of the trails. We went for the Myrtle Falls trail.
- Stop at the reflection lakes. (A must-visit!)
- Stop at the Box Canyon.
It was late evening by the time we finished all the above spots. But, if you have the time and interest, go for the “Grove of the patriarchs” trail and then return to Seattle either through Ashford and take the mountainous route through the White River side (East of the Park).