Reflection Lakes – Mount Rainier National Park – Washington

Updated: July 22, 2023

Picture Perfect: Reflection Lakes at Mount Rainier

Reflection Lakes is an iconic destination nestled amidst the splendors of Mount Rainier National Park. A spectacle of stunning natural beauty, the area is named for its remarkable mirror-like quality, casting images of the surrounding alpine foliage and the majestic stratovolcano into the pristine, tranquil waters. Accompanied by a meandering trail dotted with wildflowers, the region is an outdoor lover’s paradise, offering splendid opportunities for hikes, wildlife sightings, and awe-inspiring views. Seasonal touches accentuate its beauty, with snow-kissed landscapes in the winter and vibrant tints of floral charm in the spring and summer months.

Reflection Lakes isn’t specifically known for distinctive historical events but it is part of Mount Rainier National Park, which is designated as a National Historic Landmark District for its exemplary display of National Park Service Rustic style architecture. Website >

Best Time To Visit

  • The summer season (June-August), with a temperature range between 50°F-80°F (10°C-27°C), proves to be ideal for activities like hiking, photography, and wildlife spotting. Although summers see maximum tourists, leading to increased crowd levels and prices, the experience is unparalleled.
  • During spring (March-May), nature springs back into life with waterfalls at their fullest and vibrant wildflowers blooming everywhere. The weather is usually comfortable with temperatures ranging from 30°F to 75°F (-1°C to 24°C). This period tackles fewer crowds and travel expenses are relatively lesser.
  • Opting for a fall visit (September-November) can also be rewarding. The changing colors, quieter trails, and pleasant temperatures between 35°F-70°F (2°C-21°C) offer a unique charm. Since it’s considered an off-season, the crowd level is relatively less, and the travel cost is considerably lower.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • Q: What is the unique feature of Reflection Lakes? A: The lakes are known for offering stunning reflection of Mount Rainier, hence the name.
  • Q: Are there any hiking trails around Reflection Lakes? A: Yes, there are several hiking trails that offer great views of the lakes and Mount Rainier.
  • Q: Can I camp at Reflection Lakes? A: No, camping is not allowed near the lakes but there are other campsites within Mount Rainier National Park.
  • Q: Is fishing allowed at Reflection Lakes? A: No, the lakes are there for visual enjoyment and preservation, not for recreational activities like swimming or fishing.
  • Q: What wildlife can I spot in the area? A: Many visitors have reported seeing deer, mountain goats, and a variety of bird species.

It is important to note that while the Reflection Lakes offer splendid photographic opportunities, activities such as swimming, fishing, or allowing pets in the area are prohibited to preserve the pristine ecological conditions. Also, since it’s located at an elevation, the weather can change quickly, making it essential for visitors to come prepared with suitable clothing and gear.

Top Picture: Reflection Lakes – Mount Rainier National Park – Washington | Sean Pavone | Dreamstime

Pre-built Road Trips

  • Add Destinations (up to 25) and unlimited Places
  • Add optional Trip Plan Title (one will automatically be created)
  • Select the “Create My Trip” button
  • Then view and modify the trip for your travel needs