It’s America’s most glaciated peak and gains 9,000 feet in elevation over eight miles through the Cascade Range. Tackle it in three days: Start from Paradise parking lot at 5,420 feet and follow the signs to Skyline Trail. This moderate climb through flowered meadows takes you to Camp Muir, a cluster of tents and stone cottages at 10,188 feet. Crash here for the first night. Ascend another 1,000 feet to the Ingraham Glacier campsite and allow yourself to acclimate to the altitude. Bid for the summit the next morning along Disappointment Cleaver and head back the way you came. Take a final night at Muir before returning to Paradise. Be sure to check the radar for Pacific storms, which can roll in at any moment and shroud Rainier in blinding fog.
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