Book Reviews · hiking

Book Review: Dayhiking Mount Rainier

Dayhiking Mount Rainier:


You know you might hike somewhere a lot when you have hiked 56 out of 70 hikes in a book. That is my case with Day Hiking Mount Rainier. Which isn’t a bad thing….I do live right under Tahoma, just a quick drive up a few mountain roads and we are there.

While some things have changed since the first edition came out in 2008, this palm sized guide by Dan Nelson & Alan Bauer has held up. Just be sure to check on the Mount Rainier website for up to date information (especially if you are considering any of the hikes in the Paradise section, as the visitor center has moved since 2008, and the Carbon River area has changed as well, with some hikes requiring a now near 10 mile roundtrip hike to get to them).

I’ve often thought planning a trip to a national park can be intimidating. It’s hard to know what is a good choice, especially if you are thousands of miles away. Rainier is a very popular park, and most visitors come in summer, simply to see a huge volcano. The truth is, some of the best (and frankly easier) hiking isn’t in the most popular area (Paradise). Much of Paradise is paved down low, which had to be done to preserve it from the hordes of feet. Sure, it is gorgeous, but if you want gorgeous views and a lot less people….keep going. And that here is when this book will help you plan. Use the elevation graphs to see how hard it really is, read the descriptions, especially the “a quick guide to the hikes”. These can help you find hikes for kids, for scenic viewpoints, for wildlife. If you read our trip reports you probably know my “go-to” hikes 😉


Explore all the park, including the areas just outside it (yes, it can be just as pretty, if not more). And if you are a planning a trip to the lovely volcano, be sure to pick up a copy and study it. It will help those long winter months pass as you dream of wildflowers…..


Or even those luscious fall colors….


It’s pretty hard to pick a “bad” trail at Tahoma!