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Summer Outdoor Activities Near Seattle

Mount Rainier is the tallest peak in Washington state, and can be seen from Seattle.
Mount Rainier is the tallest peak in Washington state, and can be seen from Seattle.
Karen Ulvestad

The kids are almost out of school for the summer, and it's time to gear up for summer-time activities. The Puget Sound area is fantastic for camping, hiking, and exploring the outdoors. There are many activities that are child friendly, and others that are for adults.

The area is home to 3 National Parks, and several State Parks to explore. The best known is Mount Rainier National Park. The mountain is really a volcano, and it can be seen from the city of Seattle. The park is about an 1 to 1.5 hours southeast of the city. It is a great place to hike, tour waterfalls, camp, or climb Mount Rainier. The peak rises 14,410 feet above sea level, and is known to create its own weather. Paradise is known for its beautiful wildflowers in the summer. The trails offer views of Mount Rainier, Myrtle Falls, and the Nisqually Glacier.

In the Mount Rainier area, there are 3 of the prettiest passes in the state. These Cascade passes are closed in the winter due to snow and avalanche conditions. These passes are White Pass, Chinook Pass, and Cayuse Pass.

On the south end of Des Moines, Saltwater State Park is a great place to walk on the beach, hike through forest, and go camping. It is 88 acres along Puget Sound that is considered a Marine Camping park. The park is home to birds and wildlife. Wild salmon spawn in McSorley Creek, tide pools are on the beach at low tide, and an artificial reef is an adventure for scuba divers. The park sits half-way between Seattle and Tacoma. There is easy access to supplies in Des Moines, or exploration of either Seattle or Tacoma. It is the get-away near the city.

In the middle of Puget Sound sits Blake Island State Park. It is accessible by private boat or tour boat. The island is the location of Tillicum Village, which is a native American cultural venue. The village serves Native American smoked salmon dinners, and traditional Pacific Northwest Coastal dancing. The state park is 475 acres with 5 miles of coastline. The island is home to wildlife, birds, and marine life. It's an incredible place to spend a day or a week exploring.

Part 1 in a series. . .