Summer flowers have come and gone very quickly at Paradise Meadows due to the unusual warm weather and severe drought Washington State has been experiencing this year. The bright, intense colors of autumn have set in early this season at Mount Rainier National Park. Shades of gold and burgundy predominate the scenery along with the contrasting white glaciers of the mountain.
The most noticeable, colorful foliage is the Huckleberry plant. Its leaves turn beautiful shades of reds during the fall season.
I spent some leisurely time at the mountain one day this past week and had lunch in the large dining room inside the Paradise Inn. There is also the cafe adjacent to the gift shop that offers cold sandwiches, drinks, and very good desserts.
I took a walk around the lodge to get some different views of it. I have never stayed overnight in this lodge, surprisingly enough. Some day I will.
Now is the time to visit the park, when the sun is out, of course. (You want to be able to see the mountain). There were still plenty of crowds up at Paradise this past week after Labor Day. The weather is changing rapidly and there will be more cloudy days than sunny ones in the days to come. The colors haven’t quite reached their peak yet, but it is sure gorgeous just the way it is! There had already been a coating of snow at Paradise, but that melted quickly. Not so sure the next round of precipitation will melt that quickly, since our warm summer weather has come to an end, at least for now.
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