At over 14,000 in elevation, Mount Rainier (an active volcano) is a fantastic centerpiece for this national park located only about 65 miles to the southeast of Seattle. (As a side note, this park actually offers the highest elevation of any of Washington’s national parks). Depending on the time of day you travel, and the related traffic that comes with it, a drive from the heart of Seattle to Mount Rainier National Park should take you about 1.5 to 2.5 hours. And yes, it’s worth every minute, just in case you were wondering. If you are pressed for time on your visit to Seattle, this national park is likely your best bet. Of course, you could spend weeks in the park and not even scratch the surface of what it has to offer, including 260 miles of maintained trails and views to die for. And if subalpine meadows of wildflowers are your thing, then welcome to heaven on earth! I spent more than a week backpacking and camping around the base of Mt. Rainier as a child and those memories still haven’t faded, for good reason.