Mt. Rainier looming over a road from Dreamstime.com

One Tank Trips: Take a super cheap day trip to Mt. Rainier

Up and back in a day with plenty of sights to see

June 16, 2016
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On a clear day when you can see Mount Rainier looming in the distance, it's easy to overlook just how beautiful it is. But when you get up close and start to go up the side of it, you start to realize the treasure that sits within a three-hour drive to the south.

On the southeast side, perched at 6,500 feet elevation, sits the aptly-named Sunrise Lodge (take one trip to Dege Peak at 5 a.m. and you'll find out why). With the road set to open July 1, start planning a day trip to Sunrise for some of the most beautiful hiking you can find in the Northwest, followed by a burger and beer. 

Here are a few ways you can spend your day at Sunrise Lodge:

1. Fremont Lookout

"Wherever you are, you're in the right place. So let yourself enjoy the view" #pnw #nature #hike #adventure #nikon #vsco #liveauthentic #theoutbound #wanderlust #pnwonderland #fremontlookout #view #in2nature

A photo posted by | Jowie | (@jowiejoe) on

Start right from the parking lot and head up the Sourdough Ridge toward this old fire lookout. Since being abandoned, the lookout has served as a great photo op for anyone who makes it, but the breathtaking views when you turn the camera around are just as worthy.

2. Berkley Park

#MtRainier #NorthernLoop #PNW #Mountain #BerkleyPark #Nokia #Lumia1020 #WindowsPhone

A photo posted by William Longmire (@wibralo) on

The longest out of these trips at five hours although not a single second is wasted. Make your way up past Frozen Lake and back down into a lush green valley. Walk past the local mountain goat family (don't touch) and down into the park with a winding stream. Keep a look out for bears, but you are more likely to see a half dozen marmots.

3. Dege Peak

This beats the heatwave in California  #MountRainier #DegePeak  #pnwonderland

A photo posted by amy hao nguyen. (@amyhn) on

Like we said, to experience Dege Peak at its fullest, you'll want to catch it at sunrise where you see the morning light up Mount Rainier like you have never seen before. However, the daytime view is nothing to shake your hiking stick at. 

4. Sunrise Lodge

An elegant rustic style #sunriselodge in #mountrainier narional park, #washington #pacificnorthwest

A photo posted by Wojciech Jerzy (@wojciech.jerzy) on

After a day of hiking, pop in to the Sunrise Lodge for your choice of food and drink, then grab a knick knack from the gift shop before you head back home. 

Get all that? Good. Starting July 1 pack your backpack, hop in the car and head up the side of the mountain for an unreal experience with Seattle's largest neighbor. What else do you like to do on the mountain? Let us know in the comments below or tweet us at @1077theend.

Whether it’s a mountain road or a scenic coastline, in Washington, we’re always ready for a beautiful drive and the best way to get there and back on one tank of gas is in a fuel-efficient Honda. Enter to win weekly prizes, weekend adventures, or a new Civic at Western Washington Honda Dealers.