There's nothing quite like standing in the shadow of Mount Rainier. Ever seen Gilmore Girls? Enumclaw is about as Stars Hollow as it gets here on the west coast. About 50 miles south east of Seattle, Enumclaw is an idyllic getaway that lies right under the shadow of Mount Rainier. In fact, Enumclaw is colloquially known as the "gateway to Mount Rainier". Whether you're passing through on the way to the mountain or want to go ahead and make a day of it in this small town, here are five things you can't miss out on... and don't forget to look up - the natural splendor of this part of the state is truly something else.
Grab a Cold One and a Burger at The Rainier
This aptly named bar is a cozy hang after a day hiking the nearby trails or strolling historic downtown. The Rainier serves up a variety of burgers like its western bacon burger, made with a half pound patty, smoked bacon, two onion rings, cheddar and bbq sauce; which will have you back up to fighting form regardless of what the weather throws you.
Get Dirty At Mud Mountain Dam
Mud Mountain Dam is located a few miles southeast of Enumclaw. Resplendent with breathtaking views, this spot is the perfect place to breathe in some fresh air while hitting the trails-- there are two great ones here, the Rim trail and the Vista trail. The former is a two mile hike around the rim of the dam and river and the latter is a 0.3 mile route that touts a spectacular view of the massive dam. Wear good shoes with grip for this outing, you won't regret it.
Catch An Eyeful At Sun Top Lookout
A little further out, you'll find Sun Top Lookout. While technically in the Enumclaw area, it's about 32 miles east of downtown. What to expect here? An extraordinary view of Mount Rainier and the surrounding mountains for miles and miles on a clear day. Be sure to have your GPS handy, as the signposts leave a little to be desired. Once you hit the trail head, the route up is about 2.1 miles roundtrip on foot. Keep your eyes peeled for the super quaint fire lookout and hot tip: pack a lunch and enjoy it at the top!
Channel Your Inner Zen At Nolte State Park
On a sunny day, nothing beats the clear of Deep Lake. Located near the Green Rover Gorge, this serene day park is perfect for anyone looking for a little peace of mind without having to drive for hours and hours. Excellent for birdwatchers, photographers and more; Nolte is just another example of the many little state park gems in the state.
Pay the Pie Goddess A Visit
The Pie Goddess is truly a wonder, what with her magnificent selection of pies ranging from a next level bread pudding pie, key lime and pumpkin to mint Frango mocha, chocolate raspberry ecstasy and butterscotch lush. As they say, be sure to leave room for dessert! We hear the peanut Butterfinger pie here is to die for.