Find Family Fun at the Mountain
Gather your family and get back to nature. The inspiration of the outdoors is instantaneous as you walk a nature trail next to your little one or watch the ripples in a mountain stream. The clear mountain air, the sound of a song bird, and the brilliant star-filled night sky…come to the Sunrise side and introduce your children to the world of nature. So many possibilities!
- Amazing star viewing! Away from the city lights, view the wide open sky as night falls.
- Go huckleberry and blackberry picking July – September in the Mt. Baker – Snoqualmie National Forest. Look for these tasty treats on the Noble Knob Trail.
- Drop a fishing line in streams and alpine lakes. Lonesome, Greenwater and Echo Lakes are among the many favorites. More
- View the cascading, graceful waterfalls. Skookum Falls and Snoquera Falls are visible from Chinook Scenic Byway and easily accessible from nearby trails. More
- Take an idyllic picnic at the day use areas at The Dalles Campground and Silver Springs Campgrounds, or enjoy the Sunrise Picnic Area at Mt. Rainier National Park.
- Of course, campfires, outdoor fire pits and bonfires for roasting s’mores are always a treat at campgrounds and lodging facilities where permitted.
- Hit the trail with kids. Along the way, enjoy wildflower watching, some amateur photography and wildlife watching. For family friendly trails allowing Fido to come along, try the Greenlake Trail, Skookum Flats or Snoquera Falls trails. Self-guided interpretive trails in the area are found inside The Dalles Campground area as well as Federation Forest State Park. Wednesday – Saturday at Crystal Mountain, take a guides walk with a forest service ranger and get your child’s (and your) questions answered.
- Explore rugged trails on a mountain bike. Skookum Flats and Dalles River Trails will please the whole family. More
- Gaze upon mighty and majestic old growth trees at Federation Forest State Park. Head to the Dalles Campground and see the “Big Tree,” a 700 year-old Douglas fir measuring 9.5 feet in diameter. More
- Drive to the fire lookout tower at Suntop, standing as a sentinel over the vast forestland – still operational today.
- Head to the Sunrise Visitor Center at Mt. Rainier National Park. Ask a Park Ranger how to get your child enrolled in the Junior Ranger Program. Wander among the interpretive displays with fascinating exhibits on area geology, science and animal behavior and much more.
Exploring Nature is Highly Contagious
Without a doubt, families who discover outdoor activities discover themselves and their families all over again. Playing together brings out the inner child in everyone. Many lodging properties offer recreation activities such as lawn games, disc golf, horseshoes or badminton. For a bit more organized adventure, you’ll find guided horseback riding at Crystal Mountain Resort, mountain biking, geocaching and fishing. It’s as easy as asking the nearest business for more information. They’re sure to give you tips and hints about “how the locals do it.”
Mealtime is family time and when you do it on a picnic table, everyone pitches in. Sunrise Visitor Center has picture-perfect locations just a short walk beyond the new interpretive center. Local suppliers have what you need for your picnic essentials. If you prefer less rustic options, several restaurants offer fresh, quality cuisine with children’s menus. Crystal Mountain resort has a variety of dining options.
For a more sophisticated choice, hop onto the Mt. Rainier Gondola for a great Summit House lunch or dinner; or simply sip a lemonade on the patio. You may be rewarded with one of the all time best views of a Mt. Rainier sunset.
Keep in mind, the lodging accommodations in the area also offer great opportunities for your family. Ask about options such as:
- Play a game of disc golf at Crystal Mountain Hotels.
- The recreation lodge at Alta Crystal Resort offers ping pong, foosball and tons of board games.
- Outdoor swimming pools are popular at Alta Crystal Resort and Crystal Mountain Lodging Suites.