Day Hike - Paradise (summer)


Day Hike - Paradise (summer)

Wildflower, Sunrise and Sunset Photography at Paradise, Mazama Ridge, and Pinnacle Saddle.

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  • Easy, Moderate
  • Moderate
  • Mileage: 8.0 mi
  • Elevation Gain: 2,000 ft
This is a golden opportunity to create beautiful images in optimal light featuring the wildflowers of Mt. Rainier as part of the broader landscape.  The weekend will be organized around three optional excursions and a one mandatory hike on Sunday along the Mazama Ridge.  From my previous experience in this area, this weekend will be during the peak bloom period.  Although there is less snowfall this year, there typically are abundant flowers in the Paradise area from late July well into September.  Although the hikes will not be strenuous you should be in good physical condition so that the group as a whole can maintain a good pace between photo ops.  The primary purpose of this trip is photography and the hiking, although very enjoyable in its own right, will be primarily a means to get us to optimal locations for awesome images!  All levels photography skill levels will be supported on this trip, from beginners who are passionate about photography but desire to improve their skills and vision, to already skilled enthusiasts.  The Optional hikes/photo ops will include (1) on Friday Afternoon and Evening a hike through the Paradise Flower Fields to Myrtle Falls and high vantage points to photograph the sunset,   (2) on Saturday morning a early hike to Bench Lake for a Sunrise shoot, and (3) and Saturday afternoon and evening a hike to Pinnacle Saddle and beyond to shoot sunset.   For the Mazama Ridge Hike on Sunday we will meet in front of the second smaller reflection lake (there are two, a larger western lake and a smaller eastern lake right next to each other) and start the hike at 8:00 AM Sunday 8/2/2015.  I will be wearing a Red Mountain Hardware Hat and sporting my Nikon D800 camera!  The trail starts just to the east of the smaller eastern lake.  Participants are encouraged to arrive before sunrise to photograph reflection lakes and the surrounding area before the start of the day hike.  I will be at Reflection Lakes at approximately 5AM.  Camping can be scheduled at Cougar Mountain and Ohanapecosh. Walk-in Camping is available at the near by Ohanapecosh Campground and the Paradise Lodge offers overnight accommodation .  Several close by hotels before the Longmire entrance are also available.  Optional excursions to be announced later but will generally put you into prime spots to make possible well composed images in optimal light.  Thanks!
Leader's notes

This is a great opportunity to photograph spectacular wildflowers around Paradise, the Pinnacle Saddle, along Mt. Rainier's Mazama Ridge, and in the Reflection Lakes area.  The hike on Sunday is especially for photographers including both experienced photographers and those who aspire to improve their skills in photography.   I am available to help beginning photographers throughout the trip, and I am sure others in the group will be eager to help also.   Expect frequent stops at various photo opportunities along the trail (and let me know if you would like the group to stop).   Although the Mazama Ridge hike starts at 8AM on Sunday, participants are encouraged to arrive early to photograph sunrise at Reflection Lakes.  The anticipated hiking distance is between 6  and 8 miles.


Paradise (summer)

  • USGS Mt Rainier East

    Green Trails Mt Rainier East No. 270

    Green Trails Paradise No. 270S

    Green Trails Mount Rainier Wonderland No. 269SX
  • See full route/place details.
Required Equipment

Required Equipment

The Ten Essentials

  1. Navigation
  2. Sun protection
  3. Insulation (extra clothing)
  4. Illumination
  5. First aid supplies
  6. Fire
  7. Repair kit and tools, including knife
  8. Nutrition (extra food)
  9. Hydration (extra water)
  10. Emergency shelter
Trip Reports