Haley and William are recent PNW transplants from Texas, and while they’re having a big, traditional, Southern wedding back home, they wanted their engagement photos to reflect their new backyard and all the wonders that Washington has to offer. They reached out looking for a photographer who was up for an adventure and could take them on a hike for their engagement session. They had never been to Mt. Rainier before, but they wanted to see the mountain up close and personal. Since most of the high altitude locations in the park were still quite wintry so early in the season, and they wanted to bring their two pups along, we knew just the spot to take them. We opted to drive deep into the back woods to a secluded fire lookout with stunning, 360 degree views of Mt. Rainier and the surrounding mountains that was outside of the National Park, so that there wouldn’t be any snow and their pups could come along too. The trail up to the top was a lot steeper than we anticipated, but the wildflowers, gorgeous views, and breezy, sunny weather made the trek more than worth it. They graciously met up with us for photos on the way back from our camping trip at Mt. St Helens, and we had the benefit of shooting on a quiet, weekday evening. We had the lookout all to ourselves for hours, and watching their faces light up at seeing Rainier in all its springtime glory for the first time was such a delight. Haley’s gorgeous, purple dress matched all the wildflowers blooming along the trail perfectly, and the beargrass was in full bloom all along the mountainside. We had such a great time with these two and loved introducing them to Mt. Rainier and how hiking works in Washington (aka: the trail is always harder than you think it will be, but always worth it).