May 8

May 8, 2021 – Ashford, WA (Mount Rainier) to Mount St. Helens, WA to Government Camp, WA (Mount Hood)

The night before I was going to drive up to Mount Rainier, it was raining where I was at and in the upper 30s. They closed the road going up but expected it to reopen in the morning, which it did. The road was still closed near the top though.

So even though I knew it was still snowing up there, I was really surprised at how much snow they still had!

Here’s some pictures from Paradise, WA which is where the road is still closed for the season.

This is from a scenic overlook parking lot nearby.

View from there.

Here’s a little video from there.


Shortly after turning around and heading back down, I noticed some cars stopped on the road. I promptly joined them in stopping to get a picture and video of this little guy!

Stopping on this bridge to snap a picture in each direction. Nobody was behind me. 🙂

As you can see, it was cloudy and rainy with some flurries at the top. Unfortunately, the weather was obscuring the view, but this kind of weather is pretty much normal. I still decided to go to Mount St. Helens though as I heard the drive was good.

I heard right!

Once again the most scenic routes were closed for the season, but there was still one loop open, so I decided to take it.

Right at the start of the climb up, I was greeted with this very cool bridge.

A bridge selfie? Uh, yeah!

Video I took of it.

As you can see the views are very obscured, but I still was able to appreciate the beauty of this place. It was actually a much better drive than I was expecting, even with the obscured view.

The clouds and rolling fog sort of added a mystique to the mountains that I could appreciate.

Plus, it was DEAD! I saw very few other vehicles along the route or at the pull off areas.

Here’s a couple videos I took.

Even though the view was pretty obscured, this was still a memorable drive and I thoroughly enjoyed it. While they were both fun, I definitely liked the drive up Mount St. Helens more, even though the view was more obscured. I really wasn’t expecting that as I thought Mount Rainier would be more scenic.

I decided to “swing by” Mount Hood before I started my journey back to the East. My intention was to go to a campground next to an airstrip used by the forest service, but that campground ended up being closed. I ended up setting up camp in a parking lot that is used by hikers and specifically allows overnight parking. It wasn’t much, but anyplace that’s free and safe to park is fine by me!

The routes we took.

We had to take the long way around for Mount St Helens as the scenic routes were still closed.