Top 7 Spots to View Mount Rainier in the Olympia Region
On sunny days with clear skies, it is hard to imagine a more beautiful destination than the Olympia region. Surrounded by water and trees, lakes and mountains, we are spoiled with natural wonders.
Standing large to the east, rising from the prairie like a glaciated giant, Mount Rainier is part of the soul and spirit of the Olympia region. Known simply as “The Mountain” or “Rainier,” the massive mountain stands just 55 miles as the crow flies from Olympia, giving residents and visitors amazing views, incredible sunrises and sunsets and a constant reminder that we are surrounded by breathtaking scenery.
Mount Rainier is the most visible National Park in America and while trees and forests block some of the majesty of the magnificent mountain, every resident and visitor to the region has their favorite Mount Rainier viewing location that leaves them awestruck. With hundreds of great places to catch a glimpse of the iconic peak, we have seven locations that can’t be missed, whetting your appetite to discover your own favorite view.
1. Marathon Park
For many residents, the view of Mount Rainier from Capitol Lake is a pleasant and gorgeous way to enjoy the natural beauty of the region. Sticking up above the buildings, the top of Rainier’s glaciers shine and shimmer in the distance as ducks, geese and blue herons enjoy the lake. Your best view of Rainier from the lake will be found looking east along the walkway, from Marathon Park toward the Puget Sound.
2. West Bay Park
For an extended view of Rainier, leave Marathon Park and head down West Bay Drive to West Bay Park, you won’t be disappointed. The peak of Mount Rainier reaches high above the surrounding buildings and trees across the bay.
3. Olympia Regional Airport
Just south of Olympia, one of Tumwater’s more stunning Mount Rainier views can be found and experienced. On the west side of the Olympia airport, where ball fields meet warehouses, a picturesque view of Mount Rainier is waiting for you.
4. Airport Golf Course & Batting Center
While many will enjoy the view near the control tower at the airport, one of the most underrated views can be experienced while hitting balls at the drive range, or playing a few holes of golf at the Airport Golf Course and Batting Center. This is also an amazing sunrise and sunset location.
5. Tumwater Hill Park
Since the Olympia region is surrounded by trees, finding an unobstructed view of Mount Rainier can be tough. That is why, when in doubt, hit the high-ground. Just a short drive from downtown Olympia, Tumwater Hill offers a fantastic view of the entire South Puget Sound, including great views of the Capitol and Mount Rainier.
6. Overlook Point Park
Walk from Tumwater Hill Park to Overlook Point Park, where you can enjoy one of the best elevated views of the Mountain in the Olympia Region. This scenic outlook provides far-reaching views of the region and makes a great spot for a picnic.
7. Capitol State Forest
Those who prefer a more remote and rugged view of Mount Rainier can follow the winding trails and gravel roads up to the top of Capitol Peak in the Capitol State Forest. This is also a great location for outdoor enthusiasts to enjoy a variety of outdoor activities.