[/caption] Mt. Rainier is one of the most photographic mountains in the Cascades and September is one of the best times to visit. You are more likely to see a fresh dusting of snow along the lower elevations and the wildlife is teaming with activity. You will also find only a few crowds along the most popular spots and you will be completely surrounded by solitude along the many less traveled trails. The mornings are also much cooler and the air is crisp but you will also be surprised with how warm it can be by the afternoon hours. This photo was taken from the southern highway and the mountain is north of this less popular pull out spot. You can see the huge forest in the foreground as well as the canyon far below. There are several rivers cutting through the trees and you can still hear the water raging below even though you’re a thousand feet above. This photo was taken at 8:12am and the sun was directly behind me but somewhat low in the sky since I was visiting the park on 9/20/11 and the Tatoosh mountains were creating the shadows that you see in the foreground of the photo. It had snowed just the day before so there is a dusting of snow along the lower elevations and the air was crystal clean without a cloud in sight. I was using my Sigma 17-70mm lens and set the focal length at 17mm in order to get the most panoramic photo. I was using my CIR-PL and warming filter in order to warm the scene and saturate the sky as much as possible without overexposing the snow-capped mountain. The aperture was at F-4.6 and the shutter speed at 1/83 second since I had the camera in Program/Normal mode as well as set the ISO at 100 and the white balance at -2. I could just imagine what kind of photo you could get during the middle of winter just after a huge snow storm and on a crystal clear blue sky day. Unfortunately, the chances of getting up to the mountain are pretty slim and you are even less likely to get the perfect day since the mountain is so unpredictable.