America's Great Outdoors
The holy grail of photographs, for many photographers, is to capture the milky way, streaming across the dark night sky. This is easier to do at Mount Rainier National Park (and many other national parks) than most other places, because we truly do still have dark skies, undiminished by street lights, porch lights, neon marquees, vehicle headlights, and stadium spotlights leaking up into the night. Even with the naked eye, on a moonless night such as the ones coming up, you’ll see more stars from the parking lot at Paradise or Sunrise than you might ever have seen elsewhere in your life. At Paradise we even have volunteer rangers with telescopes to help you get a closer view.Taking a photo of it is still a challenge. It requires a good camera with manual settings, an even better tripod to keep the camera still, and a lot of trial and error. There are many good resources online to tell you how, if you’d like to try it. But even if you aren’t so inclined, an evening laying on the hood of your car, staring up into the vast infinite of the galaxy, is an experience worth having in your national park.Photo: The Milky Way over Sunrise by Chris Weber, September 8, 2013, flickr.com/groups/MountRainierNPS, used with attribution under a Creative Commons license.

The holy grail of photographs, for many photographers, is to capture the milky way, streaming across the dark night sky. This is easier to do at Mount Rainier National Park (and many other national parks) than most other places, because we truly do still have dark skies, undiminished by street lights, porch lights, neon marquees, vehicle headlights, and stadium spotlights leaking up into the night. Even with the naked eye, on a moonless night such as the ones coming up, you’ll see more stars from the parking lot at Paradise or Sunrise than you might ever have seen elsewhere in your life. At Paradise we even have volunteer rangers with telescopes to help you get a closer view.

Taking a photo of it is still a challenge. It requires a good camera with manual settings, an even better tripod to keep the camera still, and a lot of trial and error. There are many good resources online to tell you how, if you’d like to try it. But even if you aren’t so inclined, an evening laying on the hood of your car, staring up into the vast infinite of the galaxy, is an experience worth having in your national park.

Photo: The Milky Way over Sunrise by Chris Weber, September 8, 2013, flickr.com/groups/MountRainierNPS, used with attribution under a Creative Commons license.

"In this temple, as in the hearts of the people for whom he saved the Union, the memory of Abraham Lincoln is enshrined forever." Beneath these words, the 16th President of the United States sits immortalized in marble as an enduring symbol of unity, strength, and wisdom. It was on this date in 1922, that the Lincoln Memorial was dedicated. Photo: Andrew S. Geraci

"In this temple, as in the hearts of the people for whom he saved the Union, the memory of Abraham Lincoln is enshrined forever." Beneath these words, the 16th President of the United States sits immortalized in marble as an enduring symbol of unity, strength, and wisdom.

It was on this date in 1922, that the Lincoln Memorial was dedicated.

Photo: Andrew S. Geraci

As spring grows ever-stronger, and snowfall makes way for rain at higher and higher elevations in the mountains, the Cascade Mountains begin to truly live up to their name. Mount Rainier National Park contains hundreds of waterfalls, from tiny seasonal streamlets that curtain the roadside cliffs on the way up to Paradise, to the massive thundering cataracts that plunge off the upper mountain. This is one of my favorites: Silver Falls, a short hike above Ohanapecosh in the southeast corner of the park, photographed in July of last year by Jeff Moore.

As spring grows ever-stronger, and snowfall makes way for rain at higher and higher elevations in the mountains, the Cascade Mountains begin to truly live up to their name. Mount Rainier National Park contains hundreds of waterfalls, from tiny seasonal streamlets that curtain the roadside cliffs on the way up to Paradise, to the massive thundering cataracts that plunge off the upper mountain. This is one of my favorites: Silver Falls, a short hike above Ohanapecosh in the southeast corner of the park, photographed in July of last year by Jeff Moore.

There’s something about a 14,000-foot mountain looming on the horizon that draws the attention of photographers. Yet Mount Rainier isn’t the only spectacular bit of scenery in our park! The Tatoosh Range, half the size of Rainier and a dozen times older, can also make for breathtaking photography. This image of Eagle Peak in the snow, beautifully framed and photographed by Jill Foster on March 4, 2012 and shared in the Mount Rainier National Park photo group at http://flickr.com/groups/MountRainierNPS, is a good example. There are great pictures everywhere. Just keep your eyes open, and look away from the big volcano now and then!

There’s something about a 14,000-foot mountain looming on the horizon that draws the attention of photographers. Yet Mount Rainier isn’t the only spectacular bit of scenery in our park! The Tatoosh Range, half the size of Rainier and a dozen times older, can also make for breathtaking photography. This image of Eagle Peak in the snow, beautifully framed and photographed by Jill Foster on March 4, 2012 and shared in the Mount Rainier National Park photo group at http://flickr.com/groups/MountRainierNPS, is a good example. There are great pictures everywhere. Just keep your eyes open, and look away from the big volcano now and then!

You can probably name this Park Place if you’ve spent much time in Mount Rainier National Park's wilderness. Can you see why this is a favorite destination of many backpackers? It's even doable round-trip in a long, but strenuous, day hike. Name this park place and share your photos of it in the comments below. NPS/Dave Turner photo

You can probably name this Park Place if you’ve spent much time in Mount Rainier National Park's wilderness. Can you see why this is a favorite destination of many backpackers? It's even doable round-trip in a long, but strenuous, day hike. Name this park place and share your photos of it in the comments below. 

NPS/Dave Turner photo

Ascending to 14,410 feet above sea level, Mount Rainier stands as an icon in the Washington landscape. An active volcano, Mount Rainier is the most glaciated peak in the contiguous U.S.A., spawning six major rivers. Subalpine wildflower meadows ring the icy volcano while ancient forest cloaks Mount Rainier’s lower slopes. Wildlife abounds in the park’s ecosystems. A lifetime of discovery awaits.Photographed by Justin Kern September 10, 2012 and shared in Mount Rainier Flickr photo group http://flickr.com/groups/MountRainierNPS.

Ascending to 14,410 feet above sea level, Mount Rainier stands as an icon in the Washington landscape. An active volcano, Mount Rainier is the most glaciated peak in the contiguous U.S.A., spawning six major rivers. Subalpine wildflower meadows ring the icy volcano while ancient forest cloaks Mount Rainier’s lower slopes. Wildlife abounds in the park’s ecosystems. A lifetime of discovery awaits.

Photographed by Justin Kern September 10, 2012 and shared in Mount Rainier Flickr photo group http://flickr.com/groups/MountRainierNPS.

This stunning sunset is courtesy of Olympic National Park in Washington. Photo: Marco Crupi (www.sharetheexperience.org)

This stunning sunset is courtesy of Olympic National Park in Washington.

Photo: Marco Crupi (www.sharetheexperience.org)

Reflections make some of the most extraordinary images of Mount Rainier. In an image like this one — captured by JD Hascup last year (October 17, 2012) at Tipsoo Lake, and shared in the Mount Rainier National Park photo group at http://flickr.com/groups/MountRainierNPS — you could almost flip the image over and hang it on the wall upside down without anyone noticing. The brilliant autumn colors and the clouds lingering over the summit of the Mountain add additional interest to the scene, though the view from this spot hardly needs them retain its claim as one of the most beautiful places in the park.

Reflections make some of the most extraordinary images of Mount Rainier. In an image like this one — captured by JD Hascup last year (October 17, 2012) at Tipsoo Lake, and shared in the Mount Rainier National Park photo group at http://flickr.com/groups/MountRainierNPS — you could almost flip the image over and hang it on the wall upside down without anyone noticing. The brilliant autumn colors and the clouds lingering over the summit of the Mountain add additional interest to the scene, though the view from this spot hardly needs them retain its claim as one of the most beautiful places in the park.

This is exactly what our reaction would be if we came across this spectacular view in Olympic National Park.Photo: Marco Crupi  (www.sharetheexperience.org)

This is exactly what our reaction would be if we came across this spectacular view in Olympic National Park.

Photo: Marco Crupi  (www.sharetheexperience.org)

50 years ago today (August 28, 1963), hundreds of thousands of Americans of all colors, races, and creeds joined in a peaceful demonstration in Washington, D.C. The event reached its dramatic climax at the Lincoln Memorial with music, prayers, remarks, and Martin Luther King, Jr.’s legendary “I Have A Dream” speech. This moment was a turning point in American history that set our nation on the path to full equality and justice under the law.Here is one of our favorite photos of the exact spot Dr. King stood 50 years ago. Photo: Brandon Kopp

50 years ago today (August 28, 1963), hundreds of thousands of Americans of all colors, races, and creeds joined in a peaceful demonstration in Washington, D.C. The event reached its dramatic climax at the Lincoln Memorial with music, prayers, remarks, and Martin Luther King, Jr.’s legendary “I Have A Dream” speech. This moment was a turning point in American history that set our nation on the path to full equality and justice under the law.

Here is one of our favorite photos of the exact spot Dr. King stood 50 years ago. 

Photo: Brandon Kopp