Reflection Lake Mt. Rainier Photography visit must see Washington PNW

The beautiful Reflection Lake near Mt. Rainier

When visiting Reflection Lake in Mt. Rainer National Park, easy-to-access destinations are the perfect duo without sacrificing views. Reflection Lake is that dream combo right off of Steven Canyon Rd. Sitting just a few miles from the Paradise turnoff, Reflection Lake photography is perfect for sunrise or sunset when the water is glassed over, and Mt. Rainier’s reflection is stunning.

Reflection Lake Mt. Rainier Photography visit must see Washington PNW

Reflection Lake Mt. Rainier Magic

If you’re looking for a quick hike at Reflection Lake, Mt. Rainier, there are connecting trails around the lake, and down to Louise Lake allows you a nice loop. Take the Lower Lakes Trail to the High Lakes Trail to the Mazama Ridge Trail, returning to Stevens Canyon Rd.

Enjoying the sunset at Reflection Lake

This is mainly a photographer’s spot, as there isn’t much to do here. However, it is amazingly stunning and a ‘must-stop’ for anyone visiting Mt. Rainier.

Related: Full Mt. Rainier National Park Guide

I should note that the mosquitoes were atrocious when I was here in mid-July. So bring a bug net and long sleeves if you plan to spend an evening here soaking in the views. Additionally, a chair and some snacks will never hurt as you relax at Reflection Lake, Mt Rainier.

Reflection Lake Mt. Rainier Photography visit must see Washington PNW
Reflection Lake Mt. Rainier Photography visit must see Washington PNW

Bench Lake and Mt. Rainier

If you’re looking for another excellent place to take photos with a reflection of Mount Rainier, Bench, and Snow Lakes, just down the road from Reflection Lake and Mt. Rainier is a short and easy hike with beautiful views.

In the summer, you’ll walk amongst waist-high flowers with views of the surrounding mountains above you. Unfortunately, we got a bit socked in at Bench Lake. However, it’s still pretty regardless of whether you can see Rainier.

Bench Lake Mount Rainier National Park Washington
Bench Lake Mount Rainier National Park Washington

Other FAQs about Reflection Lake at Mount Rainier National Park

Can you drive to Reflection Lake?

Yes! Reflection Lake is just a hundred feet off the road and easy to reach. This is great for a sunrise or sunset photo shoot or for those wanting to soak in the beauty of the outdoors. It’s also the trailhead for Pinnacle Peak and a few other hikes in the area.

What is the most beautiful lake in Mount Rainier?

While Reflection Lake in Mount Rainier has a solid claim to the title, I believe Tipsoo Lake is the most beautiful lake in the National Park.

How can I see Mt. Rainier without hiking?

On a clear day, absolutely! You can gaze out at Mount Rainier with little hiking by driving up to Paradise Visitor Center or Sunrise Visitor Center. You can also see Rainier from the West side near Tipsoo Lake.

If you’re okay with a short hike, walk to Myrtle Falls from Paradise for a beautiful waterfall view and Rainier in the background.

How long does it take to hike Reflection Lake?

There is no hike needed to Reflection Lake as it’s directly off Steven’s Canyon RoadInstead, youou can hike the High Lakes Loop Trail, which is about 3.2 miles with 500 feet of elevation gain. This takes you on a lovely hike through the forest and near the headwaters of Reflection Lake at Mount Rainier.

How high up can you drive to Mount Rainier?

You can drive pretty high when visiting Mount Rainier. On the south side, the Paradise Visitor Center sits at 5,400. On the north side, the Sunrise Visitor Center’s elevation is 6,400. Both of these are some of the highest driveable roads in the entire state of Washington.

Summer flowers Mount Rainier National Park Washington

Until next time adventurers, take care and be safe.

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