We just came back from a week in Mt. Rainier National Park. This was not as much "hiking" as "doing short trails with a 4 year old and a 4 month old in tow" (hence the car-hiking qualifier in the title). We still managed to enjoy the amazing area, learn the lay of the land, and plan for more challenging adventures to come. One of the reasons we chose Mt. Rainier is because you can drive right into the alpine at two separate locations, Paradise and Sunrise. You can therefore get excellent views with little effort (or, as in our case, with a lot of effort but still covering a very short distance!)
Christine Falls (right on the main road that traverses the park).
Narada Falls (short walk from a parking lot on the main road).
Meadows at Paradise - the bloom was very early this year, an we missed most of it.
One-day detour to Mt. St. Helens' Johnston Ridge observatory (we also did the 1 mile Hummocks Trail).
Looking into the crater:
Grove of the Patriarchs trail:
The view from Sunrise.
The family at Emmons Vista:
A few shots at Tipsoo Lake.
Yours truly - photographed by my 4-year old with an iPhone. The photographer post in this family is about to change hands...