Set in its own national park, glacier-clad MOUNT RAINIER (14,410ft) is the highest peak in the Cascades (the seventh highest in the USA), and a major Washington landmark. Not until June does the snow melt enough for roads to open, and then the deer and mountain goats appear, dazzling wild flowers illuminate the alpine meadows and the mountain makes for some perfect hiking.

If you only have a day to explore, visit the south and east sides, entering on Hwy-706 at the Nisqually entrance and stopping at Longmire eight miles further on, site of the area’s first resort in the 1880s and a small museum. Nine miles from here is stunning Narada Falls, a 168ft plunge of water right next to the road, before the last two miles of highway rises to the main visitor centre at Paradise. Note that climbing Mount Rainier peak itself is extremely hazardous and should only be undertaken by experienced climbers.

Travel offers; book through Rough Guides

USA features

The latest articles, galleries, quizzes and videos.

7 places to get off the tourist trail in New York City

7 places to get off the tourist trail in New York City

Ticked off New York City’s big sights and wondering where to go next? From sinking a pint in Brooklyn's Red Hook to sampling Italian delicacies in The Bronx, …

11 Apr 2017 • Stephen Keeling insert_drive_file Article
In search of the real Wild West on America's Great Plains

In search of the real Wild West on America's Great Plains

Wild West – we all feel something when we see or hear those words. But why? How much is true and how much is fantasy? Our editor Neil McQuillian took to the (…

06 Apr 2017 • Neil McQuillian local_activity Special feature
15 of the most beautiful places in Alaska

15 of the most beautiful places in Alaska

With mountains to climb, rivers to raft, glaciers to coo over and a bevy of bears to photograph, Alaska is the ultimate wilderness – and this year is the per…

30 Mar 2017 • Sarah Reid camera_alt Gallery
View more featureschevron_right

Join over 60,000 subscribers and get travel tips, competitions and more every month

Join over 60,000 subscribers and get travel tips, competitions and more every month