Visit Mount Rainier National Park

  • 01 of 07

    General Information about Mount Rainier National Park

    Mount Rainier from Ricksecker Point in Mount Rainier National Park
    ••• Mount Rainier from Ricksecker Point in Mount Rainier National Park. © Angela M. Brown (2008)

    On clear days, Mount Rainier dominates the Seattle-Tacoma skyline, towering over the metropolis in breathtaking beauty. "The Mountain", as it's known by natives, draws your eyes like a magnet. It also draws over two million visitors each year. Mount Rainier and the surrounding foothills were designated as a national park in 1899.

    The roads and highways surrounding Mount Rainier National Park do not combine to form a single loop. Therefore, visitors must choose from one of four different park entrances. Each entrance leads to a different series of unique activities and mountain views. Most enter from the Nisqually entrance at the southwest corner of the park in order to access the popular Longmire and Paradise areas. The other gateways include Ohanapecosh in the southeast corner, White River at the northeast, and Carbon River in the northwest.

    Park Transportation and Tours in Mount Rainier National Park

    The National Park Service provides free shuttle service between the town of...MORE Ashford and Longmire, and between Longmire and Paradise.

    The following companies provide transportation and/or tours to Mount Rainier National Park.

    • Evergreen Escapes (866-203-7603)
    • Gray Line of Seattle (800-426-7505)
    • Tours Northwest (888-293-1404)

    Other Things to Know about Mount Rainier National Park

    • Parks entrance fees are required.
    • There are no gas stations within Mount Rainier National Park.
    • Pick up a copy of the Tahoma News, at the park entrance or a visitor center, for the most up-to-date info on Mount Rainier events, conditions, safety tips, and more.
    • Campsite reservations for the Cougar Rock Campground or the Ohanapecosh Campground can be made through Recreation.gov web site.
    • Pets in the park are discouraged and are allowed in very few areas.
    • Wheelchair-accessible lodging, camping, trails, and visitor centers are available.
    • Bicycles are not permitted on any trails in the park.
    • You can call (360) 569-2211 to get additional Mount Rainier National Park information, including camping, road, and trail conditions.
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  • 02 of 07

    General Climbing & Hiking Information for Mount Rainier

    View of Mount Rainier Above Myrtle Falls at Paradise in Mount Rainier National Park
    ••• View of Mount Rainier Above Myrtle Falls at Paradise in Mount Rainier National Park. © Angela M. Brown (2008)

    Climbing Mount Rainier

    Over 10,000 people attempt to climb to Mount Rainier's 14,410-foot summit each year. Any climber who wishes to go higher than 10,000 feet must register and obtain a permit. Professional guide services are available to train, outfit, and lead aspiring Mount Rainier climbers.

    Backcountry Hiking on Mount Rainier's Wonderland Trail

    This 93-mile trail loops around Mount Rainier offers backpackers spectacular views of the mountain's many faces. Trekkers will be exposed to a range of landscape zones, from alpine meadows to lowland forests to pristine rivers and streams. Hiking the full length of the ​​Wonderland Trail is often considered a greater challenge that summiting Mount Rainier. With a cumulative altitude change of over 20,000 feet, hikers are advised to break their days into 7-10 mile chunks, taking a total of 10-14 days. Registration and permits...MORE are required.

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  • 03 of 07

    The Nisqually Entrance: Things to Do at Longmire and Paradise

    Longmire Museum and Visitor Center in Mount Rainier National Park
    ••• The Longmire Museum and Visitor Center in Mount Rainier National Park offers a small but interesting selection of exhibits. Information and book sales are also available. © Angela M. Brown (2008)

    The Nisqually entrance leads to the southwest and southern portions of the park to the popular areas of Longmire and Paradise. Highway 706, which will take you into the park, can be accessed from Interstate 5 via Highway 7 from Tacoma, Highway 505 from Winlock, or Highway 504 from Castle Rock. This is the most popular entrance into Mount Rainier National Park.

    Fun Things to Do in the Longmire Area of Mount Rainier National Park

    Longmire Museum
    This museum features exhibits related to both the natural and the human history of the park.

    Wilderness Information Center
    Located in the historic old Administration Building that once the park's headquarters, the Wilderness Information Center at Longmire is the place to go for permits and recreation information from knowledgeable park rangers.

    Longmire Historic District Walking Tour
    Interpretive signs along the way address significant points and buildings among the historic Rustic-style structures. Pick up a map at the museum or Information Center.

    D...MOREay Hike: Twin Firs Loop Nature Trail
    An easy hike where you can get out and stretch your legs after entering the park.
    Trailhead: West of Longmire.
    Length/Time: .4 mile - 20 minute loop.

    Day Hike: Trail of the Shadows
    The self-guided trail through the meadow to the historic cabin.
    Trailhead: Across the road from the National Park Inn at Longmire.
    Length/Time: .5 mile - 30 minute loop trail.

    Fun Things to Do in the Paradise Area of Mount Rainier National Park

    A network of interconnecting trails covers the terrain around Paradise, allowing you to create your own hiking experience. Pick up a detailed map with trail descriptions at the Paradise Jackson Visitor Center.

    Paradise Jackson Visitor Center
    The new Paradise visitor center focuses on the natural history of the park, including flora, fauna, geology, and glaciers.

    Day Hike: Nisqually Vista Trail
    A self-guided walk through high-country meadows, affording awesome views of Mount Rainier and the Nisqually Glacier.
    Trailhead: Paradise Jackson Visitor Center.
    Length/Time: 1.2 miles - 1 hour loop trail.

    Day Hike: Skyline Trail
    Take a short hike to scenic Myrtle Falls and return, or challenge yourself and continue on to Panorama Point.
    Trailhead: North side of Paradise Jackson Visitor Center. Length: 1 to 5.5 miles.

    Day Hike: Bench and Snow Lakes Trail
    Hike through meadows, over ridges, to two different lakes.
    Trailhead: Stevens Canyon Road, near Reflection Lakes.
    Length/Time: 2.5 miles - 1 hour round trip.

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  • 04 of 07

    The Nisqually Entrance: Lodging and Camping at Longmire and Paradise

    View from Annex Guest Room in Paradise Inn at Mount Rainier National Park
    ••• This lovely view of Mount Rainier was taken from a guest room in the annex of Paradise Inn in Mount Rainier National Park. © Angela M. Brown (2008)

    Mount Rainier National Park's two hotels are in high demand; make your reservations well in advance.

    Lodging and Camping at Longmire in Mount Rainier National Park

    National Park Inn
    This rustic inn offers its guests comfortable rooms, a full-service restaurant, and stunning mountain views. Located in the Longmire area, the hotel is open all year round.

    Cougar Rock Campground
    Located near Longmire, this campground offers 173 regular and 5 group sites. Amenities include water and flush toilets, but no showers or RV hookups. Reservations required.

    Lodging at Paradise in Mount Rainier National Park

    Paradise Inn
    Larger than the National Park Inn, the Paradise Inn is a Historic Hotel of the Americas. Built in 1917, this rustic wooden lodge features a huge lobby with a pair of mighty stone fireplaces. Paradise Inn is open mid-May through October.

    Backcountry hiking, climbing, and camping are also available.

    Explore hotels in Ashford, near the Nisqually entrance, on Hipmunk

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  • 05 of 07

    The Carbon River Entrance

    Black-tailed Deer (Odocoileus Hemionus) buck in Mount Rainier National Park, Washington State, USA
    ••• Danita Delimont/Getty Images

    Visitors can enter the northwest region of Mount Rainier National Park through the Carbon River entrance along State Highway 165.

    Things to Do in the Carbon River Area of Mount Rainier National Park

    Carbon River Ranger Station
    Stop by for backcountry information and permits.

    Day Hike: Carbon River Rain Forest Nature Trail
    This self-guided trail winds through the only true inland rain forest at Mount Rainier National Park.
    Trailhead: Carbon River entrance.
    Length/Time: .3 mile - 20 minute loop trail.

    Day Hike: Carbon Glacier Trail
    Follow the Carbon River to the glacier.
    Trailhead: Ipsut Creek Campground.
    Length/Time: 7 miles - 3 hours round trip.

    Day Hike: Tolmie Peak Trail
    Hilly forest trail leads to Eunice Lake and a fire lookout.
    Trailhead: Mowich Lake.
    Length/Time: 6.5 miles - 3 hours round trip.

    Campgrounds in the Carbon River Area of Mount Rainier National Park

    Ipsut Creek Campground
    The small basic campground offers 31 individual and 2 groups sites, water, and vault toilets. First come first...MORE served.

    Mowish Lake Campground
    Walk into one of 30 undesignated campsites - chemical toilets, but no potable water and no fires allowed. First come first served.

    Backcountry hiking, climbing, and camping are also available.

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  • 06 of 07

    The White River Entrance: Things to Do at Sunrise

    Picture of Sunrise Visitor Center in Mount Rainier National Park
    ••• The Sunrise Visitor Center in Mount Rainier National Park has some interesting interpretive exhibits as well as helpful park rangers. A variety of hiking trails can be accessed from the visitor center, along with some picnic sites. © Angela M. Brown (2008)

    Sunrise and the east side of the mountain can be accessed from State Highway 410 and the White River entrance.

    Fun Things to Do in the Sunrise Area of Mount Rainier National Park

    White River Wilderness Information Center
    Stop by for backcountry information and permits.

    Sunrise Visitor Center
    Informational exhibits and naturalist-led walks address the sub-alpine and alpine ecology of Mount Rainier.

    Sunrise Day Lodge
    This rustic day lodge houses a small store that sells souvenirs, snacks, and sundries. There is also a food service counter in the Sunrise Day Lodge that sells such family-friendly foods as hamburgers and hot dogs. No overnight lodging is available at the Sunrise Day Lodge.

    Day Hike: Shadow Lake Trail
    Enjoy rim views of the White River Valley and Mount Rainier.
    Trailhead: Sunrise parking area.
    Length/Time: 3 miles - 1.5 hours round trip.

    Day Hike: Sourdough Ridge Trail
    Stroll through subalpine meadows and up a ridge and you'll be rewarded with fabulous views of Mount Rainier, with...MORE Mount Baker, Glacier Peak, and Mount Adams in the distance.
    Trailhead: Sunrise area parking lot.
    Length/Time: 1 mile - 1-hour loop trail.

    Day Hike: Mount Fremont Lookout Trail
    This trails follows Sourdough Ridge to Frozen Lake, then climbs to a fire lookout and incredible mountain views.
    Trailhead: Sunrise area parking lot.
    Length/Time: 5.5 miles - 3 hours round trip.

    Day Hike: Glacier Basin Trail
    Follow an old road leading to an old mining claim and a view of the Emmons Glacier, the largest glacier in the contiguous United States.
    Trailhead: White River Campground.
    Length/Time: 7 miles - 4 hours round trip.

    Campgrounds at White River Entrance in Mount Rainier National Park

    White River Campground
    Located near the White River entrance, this campground has 112 individual sites, as well as water and flush toilets. First come first served.

    Backcountry hiking, climbing, and camping are also available.

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  • 07 of 07

    The Ohanapecosh Region: Things to Do at Ohanapecosh

    Boardwalk Through the Grove of the Patriarchs in Mount Rainier National Park
    ••• Once you follow the trail and cross the river you'll get to a boardwalk that circles through the magnificent ancient trees of the Grove of the Patriarchs in Mount Rainier National Park. © Angela M. Brown (2008)

    The Ohanapecosh entrance (also called the Stevens Canyon entrance) takes visitors into the southeast region of Mount Rainier National Park. State Highway 12 leads to Highway 123, which will conduct you into the park.

    Fun Things to Do in the Ohanapecosh Area of Mount Rainier National Park

    Ohanapecosh Visitor Center
    Visitor center exhibits cover local history, wildlife, and the old -growth forests found in the southeast portion of the park.

    Day Hike: Grove of the Patriarchs Trail
    The self-guided trail through old-growth Douglas fir and western red cedars, on an island surrounded by the Ohanapecosh River.
    Trailhead: Just west of the Stevens Canyon Entrance Station.
    Length/Time: 1.3 miles - 1-hour loop trail.

    Day Hike: Life Systems/Hot Springs Nature Trail
    Self-guided hike through the forest to the Ohanapecosh Hot Springs. Watch out for mosquitoes.
    Trailhead: Ohanapecosh Campground, behind the visitor center.
    Length/Time: .5 mile - 30 minute loop trail.

    Day Hike: Silver Falls Trail
    The trail leads to...MORE Ohanapecosh Hot Springs and Silver Falls.
    Trailhead: Ohanapecosh Campground (loop B).
    Length/time: 3 miles - 2 hours round trip.

    Day Hike: Naches Peak Loop Trail
    Enjoy mountain views and subalpine meadows on this trail located between Ohanapecosh and Sunrise. Part of this trail is on the Pacific Crest National Scenic Trail.
    Trailhead: Chinook Pass/Tipsoo Lake.
    Length: 3.5 miles - 1.5 hours round trip.

    Camping in the Ohanapecosh Area of Mount Rainier National Park

    Ohanapecosh Campground
    Located near Packwood, this campground offers 188 regular sites and 1 group site. Amenities include water and flush toilets, but no showers or RV hookups. Reservations required.

    Backcountry hiking, climbing, and camping are also available.