Established in 1899. 235,625 acres (97% is designated Wilderness).
Rainier (14,410'), an active volcano encased in over 35 square miles of snow and ice. The park contains outstanding examples of old growth forests and subalpine meadows. Designated a National Historic Landmark District in 1997 as a showcase for the "NPS Rustic" style architecture of the 1920s and 1930s. Whether hiking on its flanks, climbing its summit, snowshoeing or cross-country skiing on its slopes,
camping along its glacier-fed rivers, photographing wildflower displays in subalpine meadows, or just admiring the view, nearly two million people come to enjoy the grandeur and beauty of Mount Rainier each year.
Basic Information for Mount Rainier National
Operating Hours, Seasons
Mount Rainier National Park is open all year, but access is limited in winter. Facilities at Longmire are open daily year-round. Facilities at Paradise and Ohanapecosh are open daily from late-May to mid-October. Facilities at Sunrise are open July to early-October. In winter, access is by the Nisqually Entrance in the southwest corner of the park only. The Jackson Visitor Center at Paradise is open weekends and holidays in winter. Most visitors come on sunny summer weekends and holidays. Try to schedule your visit mid-week in summer, if possible, since parking is limited in many areas of the park.
How to Get to Mount Rainier National Park
PLANE - Closest airport served by major airlines is Seattle,
CAR - Year-round access to the park is via SR 706 to the
Nisqually Entrance in the SW corner of the park. Limited winter access
is available via Hwy. 123 in the SE corner of the park. The Carbon River/Mowich
Lake area (NW corner) is accessed via SR 165 through Wilkeson. Summer
access is available via Hwy. 410 on the N and E sides of the park.
Weather & Climate
Weather patterns at Mount Rainier are strongly influenced by the Pacific Ocean, elevation, and latitude. The climate is generally cool and rainy, with summer highs in the 60s and 70s. While July and August are the sunniest months of the year, rain is possible any day, and very likely in spring, fall, and winter.
As one of the snowiest places on Earth, Paradise is worthy
of a winter visit. From November to late May, expect to find 10 to 20
feet of snow on the ground. Approximately 630" of snow falls in an
average winter at Paradise--in the winter of 1971-72, Paradise established
a world's record with 1122" of snow!
Most comfort stations, visitor centers, picnic areas, and designated campsites are accessible or accessible with help for wheelchair users.
Camping at Mount Rainier National Park
Located in the SW corner of the park, 2.3 miles NE of Longmire. Elevation 3180'. 200 individual sites + 5 group sites, some Accessible. Drinking water, flush toilets, dump station, amphitheater. Suitable for RVs and tents.
Open All Year
Located in the NW corner of the park, 5 miles E of the Carbon River Entrance. Elevation 2300'. 29 sites. Pit toilets. NO POTABLE WATER. Suitable for RVs and tents. ROAD IS SUBJECT TO FLOODING--CHECK CURRENT STATUS.
Located in the NW corner of the park, at the end of SR 165 (unpaved road). Elevation 4950'. 30 walk-in sites. Pit toilets. NO POTABLE WATER. NO FIRES.
Located in the SE corner of the park, 11 miles NE of Packwood on SR 123. Elevation 1914'. 205 individual sites, some Accessible. Drinking water, flush toilets, dump station, amphitheater. Suited for RV or tent camping.
Open All Year
Located in the SW corner of the park, 0.25 mile E of the Nisqually Entrance. Elevation 2000'. 18 individual sites, some Accessible. Drinking water, pit toilets. Suitable for RVs and tents.
Located on the E side of the park, 5 miles W of the White River Entrance. Elevation 4400'. 112 sites. Drinking water, flush toilets, small amphitheater. Suitable for RVs and tents.
Activities and More Information for Mount
Rainier National Park
Mount Rainier National Park offers excellent opportunities for scenic drives, hiking, and mountain climbing. Most roads are open from late May to early October--all provide stunning views and access to a variety of hiking trails and other sites.
While many visitors attempt to "see the park in day," you may wish to concentrate on one or two areas of the park and explore them in detail. Keep in mind that parking is limited on sunny summer weekends and holidays.
Possibilities: Explore the Longmire Historic District in the SW corner of the park. On the road from Longmire and Paradise, see Christine Falls or Narada Falls. At Paradise, see the Jackson Visitor Center, the Historic Paradise Inn, or hike a trail through the world-famous subalpine meadows. Between Paradise and Ohanapecosh, see Reflection Lakes, Box Canyon, or the Grove of the Patriarchs. Explore old growth forest at Ohanpecosh. Between Ohanapecosh and White River, consider a short sidetrip east to Tipsoo Lake. Sunrise is a popular destination from July to October. It provides outstanding views of Mount Rainier and its glaciers, and trails through subalpine meadows. In the NE corner of the park, see the Carbon River rainforest and/or Mowich Lake (note: road to Mowich Lake is unpaved and does not open until early July).
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