Golden Hour Motherhood Photos | Mt. Rainier

September 20, 2023

It is no secret that Mt. Rainier is glorious and majestic. The way she rises above the city for everyone to see in most Western Washington towns. The way we all know it’s going to be a beautiful day when “the mountain is out”. But there is such an added level to her beauty when you actually get to go explore Mt. Rainier. Between going to see Sunrise and Lake Tipsoo at Mt. Rainier, it left me wanting to go see more.

One of my good friends who is also a photographer, Aislynn, asked me if I would go location scouting with her. (Go check out her website here!)

What is location scouting you might ask? It’s where we as photographers go look for beautiful locations to take our clients photos at. Most times, it is super helpful to bring someone with you to take some test shots so you can get a feel for location and lighting and what the photos will look like at the location.

So we packed up the kids and took the 2 hour drive up there. 

Fryingpan Creek

As we were driving up to Sunrise, we saw this beautiful creek with a little parking area next to some trails. So of course we had to stop and go explore.

It was a short and steep trail down to the river. It was a little sketchy, but doable still with little kids. 

I was mostly amazed by how gorgeous all the rocks were! They were colors that I’ve never seen before. My favorite were the green ones. 

I personally wouldn’t feel comfortable taking a family there for photos, just with that steep hill and getting down to the river was a little difficult. But I think it’s doable for just a couple’s session without kids.


Sunrise was absolutely beautiful. It’s one of the highest places on Mt. Rainier you can drive up to by car. When you’re driving up the mountain, you’ll see this big turnoff with a huge parking lot with gorgeous views. We, however, kept driving.

Eventually, we hit the Sunrise Visitors Center parking lot. There were some cool looking buildings, restrooms, a picnic area, and LOTS of trails. We weren’t really sure where to go, but we picked a trail and found some beautiful views of Mt. Rainer. 

I do have to say that the trails were dirt (I mean, of course it is), and so if you are wanting to go there to take pictures, I would probably stay away from wearing white if you have little kids to pick up. 

We saw so many beautiful wildflowers and the peak of Mt. Rainier was just gorgeous!

Lake Tipsoo

We rushed to beat the sunset to Lake Tipsoo, and boy was it beautiful!

I can’t wait to go back so we can explore more. 

We walked across the road for some breathtaking views of Mt. Rainier. And there we go with the beautiful, colorful rocks again! That combined with the sun setting right behind the peak, it was just a gorgeous evening. 

Hopefully soon, we will be able to go back and explore more. The wildflowers by the lake were just starting to bloom and it was all just so breathtaking. 

Definitely bring your bug spray though. There were SO many mosquitos!

Make some memories!

If you are wanting gorgeous family photos in Mt. Rainier National Park and you have a young family, Lake Tipsoo is such a great place. It has a gorgeous backdrop, beautiful wildflowers during this time, and you don’t even have to hike to get there! 

Whether you are getting family photos there or not, its a great place to bring your family. Pack some snacks and lunch, bring your bug spray, and start driving up to the mountain because I promise you will make some beautiful family memories.

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I'm Keli! A wife, a preemie mama, and a fun-loving photographer. My passion is to help women through their journey into motherhood, as I believe we all could use a little more support & love. I do this through photographing newborns & pregnant mamas in the Tacoma area. 

Meet Keli