Mt. Rainier & Crystal Mountain Lodging
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5K Run To Kick Off Summer at Crystal Mountain

5-k-blog-post-for-tomCrystal Mountain starts its daily Mt. Rainier Gondola scenic rides on June 18.  And, to celebrate, we’re having a 5K Summer Kickoff Run on June 25.  Time to get out of town and escape to the mountains.  There are great Mt. Rainier lodging options too!

The 5K Fun Run gets more popular every year, and it’s even open to your leashed doggie friends.   The race starts in the base area plaza and goes down Crystal Mountain Blvd, then back up the Blvd., returning to the plaza for prizes.  This can be a tough circuit due to the uphill portions, but you can always just do a part of it.  Prizes for the top male and female finishers in adult and junior divisions.

Spend the weekend and explore all this area has to offer. Crystal Mountain’s Mt. Rainier Gondola will whisk you to 6872′, across alpine meadows, to one of the most gorgeous views of Mt. Rainier anywhere.  Views stretch from Mt. Baker in the north to Mt. Adams in the south and you’ll feel like you’re on top of the world.  Stroll along the ridge line and soak in the views, or have lunch at the Summit House Restaurant.  Or grab a cold microbrew from the Snorting Elk Cellar at the base, or a gourmet lunch or dinner at the Alpine Inn Restaurant.

Explore Mt. Rainier National Park.  Take the Glacier Basin Trail in the Sunrise area to incredible views.  Marvel at 1000 year-old trees in the Ohanapecosh.  Take a scenic drive up to Chinook Pass or over to Paradise.  And there are dozens of other trails to explore. 
Mt. Rainier Lodging options range from modest to deluxe — with cozy hotels and charming suites and condos — so it’s easy to plan your getaway.   

The Fun Run is free, but it is actually a benefit for the Crystal Mountain Firefighter’s Association.  Please donate if possible.  All participants must register and sign a release form. Click here for details.

Mt. Rainer Gondola Spring Scenic Rides

gondolaIf you’re looking for a spring Mt. Rainier experience, look no further than the Mt. Rainier Gondola at Crystal Mountain.  Couple a scenic Gondola ride with snowshoeing, a gourmet lunch, hiking at the lower elevations or just basking in the sunshine, and you have the perfect recipe for a spring getaway.  Our Mt. Rainier lodging partners even have some incredible spring deals to sweeten the pot.

The Mt. Rainier Gondola is open for scenic rides daily through April 17, and then weekends starting Memorial Day weekend.  (The summer season starts June 24 and runs all the way through September 18 when the Gondola will be open daily.)

The enclosed 8-passenger cars whisk you across an alpine landscape from 4400′ to 6872′ in about 10 minutes.  At the top, you’ll be greeted with breathtaking views of Mt. Rainier and all the Cascades.

The ski season runs through April 17, and even if you’re not a skier, it’s fun to snowshoe along the ridgeline.  On sunny days, Crystal Mountain sets up chairs so you can relax and soak up the view.  The Summit House Restaurant, Washington’s highest restaurant, is also open for lunch on days the Mt. Rainier Gondola is open.

Mt. Rainier Lodging partners’ spring deals even include weekends in the spring.   It’s the perfect time to plan a getaway.

For more information on Mt. Rainier scenic Gondola rides, visit Crystal Mountain’s website


Spring Road Openings for Mt. Rainier National Park

spring-road-openingsWe love springtime at Mt. Rainier.  The lower elevation trails are melted out, and it seems you hear the sounds of running water almost everywhere you walk.  All the vegetation is beautiful and lush, and since you’re before the summer crowds, it often feels like you have the trails and the mountain to yourself.

Of course, if you want to visit the snow, you can do that too!  As the elevation increases, so does the snow.  In fact, right now, at the top of Cayuse Pass, you’ll find walls of snow surrounding the road.  Chinook Pass still has lots of snow, and soon, you’ll be able to go up there for snowshoeing, sledding and snow play.  Conditions permitting, Crystal Mountain even plans to open Green Valley for spring skiing on weekends starting Memorial Day weekend.

CAYUSE PASS IS NOW OPEN — allowing you to visit Mt. Rainier from “our” side.  Hike and snowshoe up to Crystal Lakes.  Visit waterfalls along the Lower Eastside Trail.  Marvel at 1000 year old trees in the Grove of the Patriarchs, or walk to Silver Falls and gasp at the Park’s largest volume waterfall.

Other roads in the Park open soon — and most roads will be open by Memorial Day weekend, if not sooner:

The Sunrise Road to the White River Campground is scheduled to open May 16.
The Stevens Canyon Road (to the Paradise area) is scheduled to open May 27.
Chinook Pass is scheduled to open May 27.
The road to the top of Sunrise is scheduled to open July 1, but the snow is melting rapidly, so we’re hopeful for an early opening.
Alta Crystal Resort is open now for Mt. Rainier lodging, and other lodging properties on this side will open for the summer season on June 24. You’ll find great Mt. Rainier lodging options for any budget, and you can choose from cozy hotels, suites and condominiums — and even a romantic Honeymoon Cabin for 2.

See you soon