I know the Reflection Lakes are a very common subject in Mt. Rainier National Park and, being right beside the road, readily accessible. I still love this spot though, and since on my other two trips to Rainier it was first surrounded by snow and then very windy I lingered in the early evening on my recent October trip. Unfortunately it was a bit late in the year to get a good foreground subject as the wildflowers were long past, but I still like this result – the reflection is almost perfect. Not terribly original though but I have written in a notebook that I bring with me on such trips a few compositional ideas I have for next time. Without it I tend to forget my ideas until a few hours after I have left an area, having returned to implement those very ideas. Of course, this all hinges on me remembering to bring the notebook…
What a difference a week makes! I shot this panorama of Tipsoo Lake 8 days ago in Mt. Rainier National Park about 90 minutes after sunrise. A bit late in the season for the good fall color (a Ranger told me I missed that by a week only) but still a pretty spot to be. It was cold that morning, probably about 20°F (about -6°C or so) and sunny with a few clouds all weekend. Less than one week later it began to snow. Right now SR 410 (which was right behind me at this spot) at Chinook Pass is closed here due to avalanche danger. It would appear that Paradise has a few feet of snow and more coming fast. Many of the roads are closed, some for the season. I was quite fortunate to be there on the last weekend of fall before all the snow.
Panorama from Sunrise Point in Mt. Rainier National Park. From left to right: Crystal Mountain, Yakima Peak, Natches Peak, Governors Ridge, Tamanos Mountain, Goat Island Mountain, Cowlitz Chimneys, Little Tahoma, and Mt. Rainier. The White River is in the foreground.
The Emmons Glacier is on the northeast side of Mt. Rainier. It is the largest glacier in the contiguous United States at 4.3 square miles ( 11 square kilometers ). The Fryingpan Glacier is much smaller and sits on the eastern side of Little Tahoma Peak. After the upper portions of Sunrise and Mt. Rainier itself were enveloped in clouds parts of the Emmons and Fryingpan Glaciers were still visible from the road to Sunrise.