This hike offers the most spectacular views of Mt. Rainier — EVER — and yet the elevation gain is only 500 feet in a 3.5-mile loop. The best time of year to do the hike is in early autumn, on a sunny day, as you will be mesmerized by the gorgeous fall colors on display in the subalpine meadows. There are a couple of gorgeous little tairns where you can rest and have lunch on one of the large rocks. There is also a lake midway through the loop (can't remember the name) that you can hike down to if you've got another 3-4 additional miles in you. To get the best views of Mt. Rainier, be sure to hike the loop in a clockwise direction (follow the trail from the picnic area at Tipsoo Lake to Chinook Pass and the Pacific Crest Trail). DO NOT forget your camera — you will want to look at the photos over and over to remind yourself of the wonderful, fantastical views you took in. Part of this hike is in the Mt. Rainier National Park (MNP) and part of it is on the Pacific Crest Trail (PCT). Leashed pets are allowed on the PCT, but not in MNP, so that sorta rules out bringing the family pooch. There is some loose rock in places but, other than that, it's the easiest hike to be had for the views offered. If grandma and grandpa are sure-footed, they could probably handle this one without a problem. It must be seen to be believed.
Great place to propose marriage