Dinner with a View
To eat at the state’s highest-elevation restaurant while overlooking the state’s highest mountain (plus bonus views of Mounts Baker, Adams, and St. Helens), board the Mt. Rainier Gondola at Crystal Mountain Resort and ascend 2,500 feet. You’ll end at Summit House for a meal of classic Northwest fare—and stunning panoramic views. Better still, there are hikes galore in summer.
Descend into the Ape Caves, two lava tubes near Mount St. Helens National Volcanic Monument. Bring a good flashlight and a jacket—it drops to 42 degrees underground. In the upper cave, scramble over boulder piles and scale an eight-foot wall.
Volcano on High
Hitch a ride on a chopper to see Mount St. Helens and its crater from a new vantage. Hillsboro Aviation offers aerial tours from the Hoffstadt Bluffs Visitor Center in summer.
On the Discovery Tram Tour through Northwest Trek Wildlife Park, happen upon bison, Roosevelt elk, and woodland caribou while a naturalist narrates the experience. Spring is baby season, so keep an eye open for cute additions.
After hiking through the splendor that is Mt. Rainier National Park, nothing tastes better than the huckleberry ice cream at Wapiti Woolies, an outdoor clothing and gift shop in Greenwater known for its hundreds of hats.
The Quiet One
Overshadowed by its bigger and more explosive brethren, Mount Adams is often overlooked as a destination. That’s a mistake for those who want to climb without the crowds. It’s a beautiful peak and no slouch in the height department at 12,276 feet.