The Skyline Loop Trail at Mount Rainier National Park.

Even amongst the crowds and tourists, visitors to Paradise feel as if they can be alone with Mount Rainier.

She's so close that you can reach out and touch her. The sun was shining so brightly you could see climbers on the glaciers above. And the wildflowers were in full bloom, which is nice to see late in the summer.

Our group of two moms and two backpacked babies wandered around the lower trails behind the visitors center. There are plenty of opportunities to hike up to the glaciers, alpine lakes and waterfalls. Just pick a direction and go for it. The trails themselves are hardly rough.. they are paved!

Cost to get into Mount Rainier National Park is $15, but if you keep your receipt you can get back into the park for two more weeks. The Jackson Visitor Center and the Paradise Inn both received multi-million dollar renovations and they are gorgeous! If you don't want to pack up your lunch, there are plenty of cafes for lunch and refreshments.

Pack everyone up and hit the mountain today. You won't be dissappointed!