Mount Rainier National Park
Mount Rainier National ParkOn clear days—"when the mountains are out," as locals say—this steep, ice-gilded volcano dominates Seattle’s horizon. In fact, the peak is 90 miles southeast of the metropolitan area. You can see lush green forests blanketing about 60 percent of Mount Rainier National Park, while the rest is covered in meadows, alpine heather, and the densest patch of glaciers in the contiguous United States. Easygoing hikers like to explore the wildflower meadows near the 1916 Paradise Inn, which transform into prime terrain for sledding, snowshoeing, and igloo-building come winter. Prefer the thrill of downhill? Head to Crystal Mountain, just northeast of Rainier, where the state's first ski gondola still serves its most elevated restaurant.