Today I'm sharing some inspiration from my weekend adventure exploring the legendary Mount Rainier National Park. If you find yourself in the Pacific Northwest, I hope you have a chance to see this majestic beauty — on a clear day, 'the Mountain' is even visible from Seattle. Every time I see it, I'm overwhelmed by it's epic beauty. It's one of my favorite things about this region.
This trip I stayed at Cougar Rock Campground, in the southwest part of the park, appropriately named "Paradise". The campground was fairly large, but still felt somewhat private and cozy in a sweet little spot surrounded by trees. If you're into camping, I highly recommend it!
I was lucky to spend a beautiful, sunny day hiking the Skyline Trail in Paradise. The trail travels through a diverse + incredible landscape, with epic views of alpine meadows, mini waterfalls, lava rock formations, and an up-close view at the Nisqually Glacier.
One of my favorite parts was the stunning views of Mount St. Helens, Mount Adams and the Cascade range from Panorama Point. We did a few other hikes in Paradise, but the Skyline was my favorite.
For brunch one morning I used leftover ingredients to make my signature tofu scramble, breakfast taco style with grilled veggies, black beans, and plenty of avocado. ;) I'm new to cooking with cast iron on a fire, but this was so easy & delicious!
Other than the tacos, we kept breakfasts pretty simple: fruit, granola, almond butter & coffee.
For lunches, I made a big batch of my Greek-spiced chickpea salad, which I'll feature in another post since it's super easy, delicious and travels well in a mason jar on the trail.
Dinners: stir fry with veggies, tempeh & peanut sauce; loaded campfire sweet potatoes (with homemade black bean salsa, so good!!); another stir fry featuring chickpeas & mixed veggies. I taught myself how to open a can of beans with a Swiss Army knife, so that was pretty cool. ;)
Of course, indulging in campfire classic s'mores was a must, with a decadent twist: dark chocolate peanut butter cups. If you haven't tried this before, I encourage you to — it's a game changer!
Roadside farm stands are a favorite detour on my roadtrips. While I don't always know where they'll be or what they'll have, I've found it's a great way to score some of the sweetest deals on fresh, local produce at its peak season.
I packed/made all my meals for this trip, but I did notice a vegan Boca burger at the Mount Rainier National Park Inn dining hall (in Longmire).
Wondering how I became an official Jr. Park Ranger? Here's a sneak peek...
Also, sending letters from camp was fun. Postcards are my favorite souvenirs — In addition to my friends & penpals, I always send myself one postmarked from my travel destination as a special reminder of my experience.
camp gear wishlist
Exploring the Pacific Northwest is a passion of mine, but I've only been camping a handful of times — I didn't grow up doing it, but I'd love to do much more of it. With that said, I'm still acquiring basic camp gear. I thought it'd be fun to share a few things I hope to take on my next camping trip!
After using my friend Carrie's rad vintage plates (in the taco photos), I'm obsessed with finding my own set of speckled enamel dinnerware to add to my camp kitchen. Thrift store goals!
OK so this isn't really "gear", but going back to next-level s'mores, these s'mores cookies by my client Fettle Vegan look AMAZING! Fettle Vegan just shared their list of the "Top 5 Vegan Camping Must Haves", which includes some great tips + inspiration.
More camp gear inspiration from my awesome clients includes the cozy Eno Hammock photo by Margaret of the Plant Strong Vegan. Margaret's love & enthusiasm for the Eno always made me curious... I finally got to try one out, and now I'm hooked! I hope to get one soon!
I'd also love to invest in practical things like a nice camp stove, cast Iron cookware and a headlamp. Are you surprised most of my wishlist is food related? ;) It's kinda my thing!
Are there any items you always pack when you travel (camping or otherwise)? Would you like to see more travel + adventure posts?
Thanks for reading about my Mount Rainier adventure!