Visiting Mt. Rainier National Park is certainly a must-do when visiting Seattle.

Begin your  journey in Enumclaw, a quaint community offering independently owned stores, restaurants, and lodging in close proximately to the Park, Crystal Mountain Resort and the Chinook Pass Scenic Byway. The town is a perfect basecamp for Mt. Rainier National Park – the mountain experience starts here.

Enumclaw is an easy 45-minute drive from SeaTac Airport, and a little over an hour from Seattle’s cruise terminals.

On the way into town, visit Tracy’s Roadside Produce to pick up some healthy snacks. Specialty food items, candy and fresh fruits and vegetables make this country store worth a stop.

Downtown Enumclaw offers a variety of independently-owned shops and restaurants. Got a sweet tooth? Handmade salted caramels and chocolates, and Snoqualmie ice cream cones are staples at Sweet Necessities. For more decadence, visit The Pie Goddess and try her Food Network’s award-winning Butterfinger Lush pie.

The Sequel used book store is a great place to pick up some reading material for spending cozy nights indoors. Bridget’s Boutique and Work Sports and Outdoors offer clothing and supplies to make an authentic Pacific Northwest experience.

Dozens of geocaches can be found in and around Enumclaw. Just outside of town is Nolte State Park / Deep Lake, which offers a flat, easy trail encircling the lake, as well as picnicking and play structures.

The Enumclaw Expo Center hosts events like the King County Fair, a wine and chocolate festival, concerts, rodeos, and food truck events as well.

The White River Amphitheater is also a band of the White River elk herd, which typically hang around the base of Mt. Peak on the south side of town.

More outdoor adventure can be found heading east on the Chinook Pass Scenic BywayMud Mountain Dam and Federation Forest State Park are both located just up the road from Enumclaw. Mud Mountain has kid-friendly play structures plus picnic tables, as well as a trail to overlook the dam itself. Federation Forest State Park requires that you have a Discover Pass, but it offers multiple hiking trails with signs identifying the fauna, as well as an interpretive center.

Further up the byway, and just before the Mt. Rainier National Park is Crystal Mountain Resort, Washington State’s largest ski resort. This year-round resort offers incredible skiing in the winter, and plenty of hiking opportunities in summer. It is also home the Mt. Rainier gondola and The Summit House, Washington State’s highest restaurant.

The best part for visitors basing themselves in Enumclaw are the dining choices and evening activities the city offers. One need only decide what sounds good for dinner as the city has really great restaurants, with most downtown restaurants offer locally-sourced food choices.The Chalet Theater runs, one, new to theaters movie per evening at 7 p.m., as well as hosts comedy shows and concerts.

Spend some time visiting Enumclaw and see for yourself how ‘The Mountain Starts Here.”

Spend some time visiting Enumclaw and see how
‘The Mountain Starts Here.”