This National Park Gets Carpeted in Colorful Wildflowers Every Summer — and the Peak Bloom Is Coming Soon (Video)
The national park typically sees magnificent wildflower blooms for a limited time each year, starting in mid-July and peaking by the beginning of August.
The park is already starting to see the first blooms of the season, with early-season wildflowers like the avalanche lilies —known for their white petals and yellow centers — already blooming along the Stevens Canyon Road near Reflection Lakes.
Lupine, Jeffrey’s shooting star, wild strawberries, and Calypso orchids can already be found on trails like the Wonderland Trail, while yellow violets, starflower plants, and salmonberries are blooming on the Longmire Trail.
The park is home to hundreds of different wildflower species that blanket the park in shades of white, yellow, pink, red, blue, and purple.
There are dozens of trails that provide magnificent views of the wildflowers, including the Bench and Snow Lakes Trail, where visitors will also see two lakes and meadows. Meanwhile, the Naches Peak Loop Trail provides up-close views of the subalpine flower fields in the park and views of Mount Rainier itself, with late summer bringing in a large amount of huckleberries.
Park representatives say the subalpine regions host the park's most impressive wildflower displays since snow tends to linger in the meadows into June and July, causing the flowers to “bloom profusely” and reproduce before the snow returns again.
The meadows of the Glacier Basin Trail also host a variety of wildflowers, with mountain goats on the surrounding slopes adding all the more to the dreamy scene.
While frost can arrive by late August, park representatives say the meadows look mesmerizing after a light frost as the leaves change color and blossoms continue to bloom.
Representatives from Mount Rainier’s tourism board also recommend locations like Grand Park to spot magenta paintbrush, asters, and gentians, and hikes through Sunrise Dege Peak to get 360-degree views of the park and its wildflowers.
Visitors are asked to stay on designated trails and to avoid fragile flower fields and stream and lake banks to maintain the beauty of the blooms.