Want to see the "best" view of Mt. Rainier anywhere bar none? Hike to the saddle of Tamanos Mountain in Mt. Rainier National Park. Some great views of wildflowers now beginning to bloom too! The only drawback is that you have to work hard to get there, climbing 3,000 feet to a summit elevation of 6,732 feet. It's a steep scramble where you'll climb 1,000 feet in the last 1/2 mile. But well worth it.
This perspective of the mountain is one that you don't commonly see, looking almost due west. Shriner peak east of here is about the only other westward view I've seen that's similar. At this elevation, the lupine are only now beginning to bloom with a couple of lonesome paint brush where patches of snow still remain. And this is only the beginning. Turn around and scan the horizon across the entire 360 degrees. We've seen nothing to match it.
That's Mt. Adams in the distance. Here's a close-up.
As you can see, the last 1/2 mile scramble up the hill is pretty steep.
Closer up - I just love these peaks.
On the way up, you'll pass Owyhigh lakes surrounded by more peaks - this view looking east.
Plenty of wildflowers in bloom down by the lakes.
To get to Owhyhigh lakes and the "scramble" to Tamanos mountain, take the Sunrise entrance to Mt. Rainier NP. Before you reach the White River Campground, you will see signs for the trail to Owyhigh Lakes with a good sized parking area on your right. Once you reach the lakes after 3.5 miles of hiking, continue on the trail until you see a rough trail spur off to your right. This begins the scramble. Don't be worried when you approach the saddle and the trail seems to peter out. Just make your way up as best you can and you're be there. The summit of Tamanos mountain is further to your right or north but we like the views from the saddle best. Well worth the effort to get here. Couldn't be a better spot for lunch and be sure to bring plenty of water.