Well, all worries went out the window around the last week of September when the colors began to pop!
The wanderings can be endless and slow going during peak season as around every corner a different array of color combinations present themselves.
As you wander, keep your eyes open for wildlife. Chipmunks, marmots and pikas are numerous and will typically announce your presence. Deer are a common sight as well. Also, it is not uncommon to see black bear in the bushes feasting on the huckleberries as they try to fatten up for their winter slumber (always keep a safe distance away).
There are other nearby places for the casual visitor to enjoy fall colors as well, and with less crowds. The Lakes Trail provides a beautiful hike through red foliage while visiting several small tarns. Most of the colors are lower down near Reflection Lake, not on Mazama Ridge.
Further away, Tipsoo Lake is also a splendid area to enjoy roadside fall colors. Short hikes in the area offer further explorations.
Fall is probably my favorite season to be in the outdoors. While the days can be warm, the nights can be crisp (as can early mornings and late evenings). Be sure to have warm clothes with you!
Mount Rainier Gallery.
As always, thanks for looking! Hope to see you on the trail!