You may well be out of luck today. Sometimes, when it's cloudy in Seattle, you can still have a beautiful mountain experience IN the park - as the main visitors centers are several thousand feet above Seattle. Sometimes, that puts them above the clouds. Not today - at least not right now.
You can Google "rainier web cams' and get links to a number of web cams distributed around the volcano. These help you gauge the conditions at various locations in the park - sometimes it's even clear at Sunrise while it's cloudy at Paradise. It seems to be cloudy all around the mountain right now.
Sometimes you can get a great photo of the portion of the Mountain that usually rises above the clouds out the window of your airplane as you depart Seattle, depending on where your flying to and which direction the planes are departing (north or south). Sometimes flight attendants are happy to help you know which side of the plane will have the view of Rainier as you depart (usually 5-15 minutes into the flight, as the plane gets above the clouds and orients towards it's destination).
Note: I visited Seattle six or seven times in my life before taking a job here - and NEVER saw the mountain during any of those visits, despite being ON the Mountain (in Rainier N.P.) on two of those visits. Here's hoping it decides to come out for you today. When it does, it's pretty much viewable from EVERYWHERE.Edited: 2:06 pm, September 20, 2018
No. Either the mountain is "out" or it's not.
OK - Current state, from viewing Rainier web cams:
the clouds seem to be piling up on the SW side of the Mountain - Paradise is socked-in, and from the Camp Muir web cam (high above Paradise on the southern face of Rainier), it appears the ceiling is currently in the 10000' area. the Longmire camera showed conditions clear at that level, but views of the Mountain obscured by the layer of clouds above that location (the same layer that was "socking-in" Paradise).
from the Sunrise visitors center cameras, it appears that the clouds are a bit above the center, and the lower several thousand feet of the volcano are visible - including most of Little Tahoma. I'm guessing that the summit shows itself now and again to people at the visitors center.
no idea how conditions will morph over the coming minutes/hours - but as of 11:15a today, that's what the web cams showed.
It's a 2.5 hour drive to Sunrise - about 3 to Paradise. A pretty big gamble on a day like today, if you even have the time or rental car to do such a day trip.Edited: 2:21 pm, September 20, 2018
I love these trick questions: The answer is you can't get a picture, the Mountain is obscured.
Wait for Sunday.
Buy a postcard?? Seriously, or a photo book. It is not a daily occurrence here, which is part of the thrill when she is visible.
True enough. We can go for weeks without seeing the mountain.
We are currently at Rainier, at Paradise. We could see the mountain earlier today on the drive here although there were a few clouds, but not many. By the late afternoon you could only see about half of it. Paradise Lodge area was fine as were the easy trails around it. It just was socked in much further up.
True enough. We can go for weeks without seeing the mountain
True in November-March, not really in Septemeber.Edited: 12:12 am, September 21, 2018
That’s super helpful, thank you so much!!