"Mount Rainier" by NPS/Emily Brouwer Photo , public domain
Mount Rainier Guide
Summer Visitor Guide for Mount Rainier National Park in Washington. Published by the National Park Service (NPS).
Mount Rainier National Park Mount Rainier National Park Visitor Guide 2020 John Chao photo Expect limited services and facilities due to COVID-19 impacts. Check locally or at nps.gov/mora for facility status. Welcome to Mount Rainier National Park! 2020 SEASON ALERTS Backcountry Camping Permits All permits must be obtained in advance of your visit. A wilderness permit is required for all overnight camping in the wilderness of Mount Rainier National Park. Walk-up permits will not be issued until it is safe and practical to do so. For permits and information visit https://www.nps.gov/ mora/planyourvisit/wilderness-permit.htm. Disappointment Cleaver Climbing Route Changes Climbers will fnd very different conditions on this route this season. For an indefnite period this summer, it will no longer be a novice climbing route. For more information visit https://www. nps.gov/mora/planyourvisit/climbing.htm. Plan Ahead for Limited Services Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, many visitor centers, ranger stations, and hospitality services will be closed or providing limited services this year. For current information on services check locally or the park website https://www. nps.gov/mora/planyourvisit/covid-19visitor-guide.htm The mission of the National Park Service is to preserve unimpaired the natural and cultural resources and values of the National Park System for the enjoyment, education, and inspiration of this and future generations. We proudly hold parks in trust for the American people and, even more proudly, welcome visitors from all communities back into Mount Rainier National Park as coronavirus pandemic restrictions begin to ease. It is also our mission to keep everyone at Mount Rainier healthy, including our staf and all who visit. To that end, Mount Rainier is modifying visitor services to help prevent the spread of infectious diseases. Some facilities and programs will be closed or cancelled. Please check locally and on the park website for current information and continue to follow CDC guidelines. As circumstances continue to change and we modify our operations as necessary, we thank you for your patience and cooperation. Stay Healthy: Recreate Responsibly Mount Rainier is a beacon to many, attracting a diversity of people to its slopes. We welcome all who come and encourage everyone to make this a safe place for all to enjoy. Wear a mask and practice good hygiene. Keep your hands clean and avoid touching any hightraffc surfaces. Wear a mask when you must be in close contact with others. We urge you to recreate responsibly by parking only in designated areas, packing out everything you bring with you, visiting at times other than busiest of the day, maintaining social distance from others and if you encounter a crowded trailhead or overlook, seek another location to recreate. We hope you will fnd the fresh air, beauty, and solitude of this mountain to be restorative. While returning to nature may seem safe, it is critical to remain vigilant despite the feeling of distancing ourselves from the spread of coronavirus. Practice physical distancing. Keep six feet between you and anyone who doesn’t live with you. Leave no trace. Always pack out what you pack in, including gloves and masks. Don’t take unnecessary risks. Be extra vigilant and avoid injury and the need for Search and Rescue (SAR). Each mission poses potential exposure of SAR teams to coronavirus. Keep in Touch! What's Inside? Explore Mount Rainier ............. 2-3 Campgrounds ........................... 3 Carbon River and Mowich ....... 4 Visiting Longmire ..................... 5 Avoid crowded areas. Seek another location to recreate. Exploring Paradise .................... 6-7 Ohanapecosh ............................ 8 Sunrise and White River ........... 9 Safety and Hiking ...................... 10-11 Mount Rainier National Park www.nps.gov/mora @MountRainierNPS Carbon River near Chenuis Falls JD Hascup photo Explore Mount Rainier National Park At 14,410 feet high, Mount Rainier is the tallest peak in the Cascade Range and an icon of the Pacific Northwest. While the mountain's well-known profile is visible for many miles in every direction, its alpine, glacier-clad slopes occupy only a third of Mount Rainier National Park. There are as many different sides of the park as there are views of Mount Rainier. Take the time to explore the other two-thirds of the park and discover what lies within the shadow of this great mountain that local American Indians call "Tahoma." Whether you are looking for wilderness solitude or historical architecture, spectacular drives or challenging hikes, Mount Rainier National Park has something for you. This Visitor Guide includes information that will help you plan your activities and have a safe and enjoyable visit. There are five major visitor areas in the park: • Longmire (southwest) • Paradise (south side) • Ohanapecosh (southeast) • Sunrise/White River (northeast) • Carbon River/Mowich Lake (northwest) Parking can be difcult to fnd on sunny summer weekends at Paradise, Sunrise, Grove of the Patriarchs, and at trailheads between Longmire and Paradise. To avoid congestion, visit these areas on weekdays, arrive early, and carpool. Park roads are winding, road shoulders are narrow, and the speed limit is 35 mph in most areas. Watch for pedestrians, sightseers, bicyclists, and wildlife. Please be courteous and use pullouts to allow faster drivers to pass you safely. Mount Rainier is the traditional land of the Cowlitz, Muckleshoot, Nisqually, Puyallup, Squaxin Island, and Yakama tribes. Indigenous traditional practices are intrinsic with the land and continue to this day. Gas is not available inside the park. Gas stations are located in local communities. If you are in the park on a busy day, you may want to explore less–visited areas to escape the biggest crowds. In taking the extra time to seek out these special places, you can immerse yourself in an old-growth forest, reflect next to a cascading waterfall, hike in virtual solitude, or just relax, take in the view, and reconnect with nature. No matter where you go in the park you will find spectacular scenery and a multitude of recreational opportunities! Cellular service is not available in most of the park. At Paradise, cell service is available at lower elevations. Get the Most Out of Your Visit Visiting for a few hours or a day? Here's some tips to help you get the most out of your visit: Half Day in the Park? • • • • • • • • Drive to Sunrise for a picnic, a short hike to Emmons Vista, and outstanding mountain and glacier views. Download and listen to the free Sunrise Road Geology Audio tour along the way https://go.usa.gov/xwXt2. Stop at White River for the best data service to download. Visit Chinook Pass and Tipsoo Lake for a hike around the lake through lush subalpine meadows. Hike two miles round-trip along the Ohanapecosh River from the Ohanapecosh Campground to view Silver Falls. Explore Longmire's historic district and hike the Trail of the Shadows. Hike Nisqually Vista or Myrtle Falls trails at Paradise and enjoy a picnic with a view! Hike the Grove of the Patriarchs loop trail to explore an ancient old-growth forest. Take a drive through the park stopping at overlooks of mountain views, waterfalls, and geologic features. Some great hikes for young families are Trail of the Shadows at Longmire, Nisqually Vista at Paradise, Box Canyon loop trail in Stevens Canyon, Hot Springs trail at Ohanapecosh, Sunrise Rim at Sunrise, and Grove of the Patriarchs near Stevens Canyon Entrance. One Day in the Park? • • • • • • • Hike into the Tatoosh Range for excellent views of the mountain. Hardy hikers can try the Eagle Peak or Pinnacle Peak trails. Visit Refection Lakes for amazing views of the mountain that will may be refecting in the lake's surface. Then hike up to Bench and Snow lakes for a moderate hike. Take a geology tour along the southside of the park. Stops include (west to east) Westside Road, Kautz Creek, Glacier Bridge, Ricksecker Point, Inspiration Point, Box Canyon, and viewpoints along the way. Spend the day hiking through subalpine meadows at Sunrise or Paradise. Hike a section of the 93-mile Wonderland Trail that encircles the mountain. Many people hike this trail in sections. Try hiking from Lake Louise to Box Canyon in Stevens Canyon or Sunrise to White River, Longmire to Narada Falls or Refection Lakes. All require a vehicle at each trailhead. Take a drive up the dirt road to Mowich Lake to see the park's deepest lake surrounded by wildfowers in summer, followed by a hike to Spray Park for mountain views. Hike to a historic fre lookout for great views of the mountain and surrounding area. 2 | Mount Rainier National Park | Summer-Fall 2020 How Far Is It? Road One Way Driving Times & Distances Distance Time Longmire to Paradise 12 miles 25 min Paradise to Ohanapecosh via Stevens Canyon Rd 23 miles 45 min **Ohanapecosh to White River Entrance 18 miles 30 min White River Entrance to Sunrise 13 miles 45 min White River Entrance to Carbon River via Enumclaw 61 miles 2 hrs Longmire to Carbon River via Eatonville/Orting 80 miles 2.5 hrs Longmire to Mowich Lake via Eatonville/Orting 89 miles 3 hrs **Expect delays when traveling Stevens Canyon Road. What You Need to Know Mount Rainier National Park was established in 1899 to preserve the natural and cultural resources in this area and to provide for public beneft and enjoyment. This information will help you learn more about the park, and protect yourself and the park. Accessibility Most restrooms, visitor centers, picnic areas, amphitheaters, and designated campsites are accessible or accessible with help by wheelchair. Accessible lodging is available inside the park and in local communities. The park brochure is available in braille at visitor centers and entrance stations. Protect the meadows: Stay on trails. Leave all wildfowers for everyone to enjoy. No Drone Zone! Launching, landing, or operating an unmanned aircraft (drone) within the boundaries of Mount Rainier National Park is prohibited. Campfres Are only permitted in established grills in campgrounds and picnic areas. Campfres are not permitted in Mount Rainier's backcountry. Collecting frewood is prohibited. Firewood is sold in Cougar Rock, Ohanapecosh and White River campgrounds. Wildlife Safety Give animals room. The best way to stay safe when watching wildlife is to give animals room to move. Stay a minimum distance of 25 yards from most wildlife and 100 yards from predators like bears. The Kautz Creek Boardwalk Nature Trail is accessible with assistance in summer. An accessible trail leads to the base of Paradise Meadows; a portion of the trails at Paradise are accessible with help. Mercury in Park Lakes Research studies have shown mercury is present in some trout in a few park lakes. Check the Washington Department of Health website http:// www.doh.wa.gov/ for information on fsh consumption. Don’t Be A Victim! Burglaries have occurred at numerous trailheads and parking areas in the park. Those responsible for the crimes were investigated, arrested by Mount Rainier rangers and National Park Service special agents, and convicted in court. However, these convictions will not necessarily end the problem of car burglaries in the park. Follow these simple guidelines to avoid becoming a victim of future car break-ins: • Do not leave any valuables in your vehicle, even for a short time. • Do not leave bags, packs, or purses, that look like they could contain valuables visible in your vehicle. • If storing items in the trunk of your car, do so before arriving at your destination. You could be watched at trailheads and parking lots. • Immediately report all suspicious activity you observe at or around parking lots or along roads to a park ranger. Bikes in the Park Bicycle only on roads, not on trails. Mountain bikes are permitted on Westside Road and Carbon River Road, but not on trails. Camping Camp in designated campsites only. Sleeping in vehicles outside of campgrounds is not permitted. Firewood: Buy It Where You Burn It Buy frewood near where you will burn it–that means the wood was likely cut within 50 miles of where you’ll have your fre. Never bring wood from home, even if you think the frewood looks fne. Aged or seasoned wood is still not safe. Firewood sales are available in the park at the Longmire General Store and at Cougar Rock, Ohanapecosh, and White River campgrounds. Tree Hazards Healthy trees with no defects can present a danger under certain conditions. Stay alert for falling limbs and cones on windy days, and avoid forested areas during storms when possible. Sudden gusts can do great damage to trees—as well as anything in range of falling debris. Climbing Each year, approximately 10,000 people attempt to climb Mount Rainier. Nearly half reach the 14,410foot summit. Climbing permits are required for travel above 10,000 feet and/or on glaciers. Climbing information including fees, routes, and conditions, as well as wilderness permits required for overnight stays, are available on the park website. Please Note: Those wishing to climb above 10,000 feet or onto any glaciers must pay the climbing cost recovery fee AND get a climbing permit. This includes skiers or "single push climbers". Climbers who wish to camp overnight must also get a wilderness permit in order to acquire a camp site. Pay your annual climbing fee through pay.gov; keep your receipt and print or save it on your phone to serve as proof of payment; and bring a picture ID. For the 2020 season, guided climbs and seminars are available through: • Alpine Ascents International (206) 378-1927 • International Mountain Guides (360) 569-2609 • Rainier Mountaineering (888) 892-5462 Pets and Service Animals During hot weather do not leave pets in vehicles. Leashed pets and emotional support animals are permitted only in picnic areas, campgrounds, and parking lots and on roads currently open to public vehicles. They must be on leashes no longer than six feet and are not allowed in buildings, on trails (except the PCT), or in off-trail or backcountry areas. Service animals are allowed on trails and in park facilities only if they are providing a service for a person with a disability. Service dogs-in-training are not service animals under ADA, but are considered pets. Drive-in Campgrounds Wilderness Camping Permits The park’s permitting process has changed for the 2020 season in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. At this time, we anticipate continued access to the Mount Rainier Wilderness during the summer season, but walk-up permits will not be offered until it is safe and practical to do so. All permits must be obtained in advance. A wilderness permit is required for all overnight camping in the park's wilderness. All wilderness permits must be obtained in advance. Walkup permits will not be issued. Permit requests will not be accepted after October 10, and all permits after that date will be at self-registration stations. Mount Rainier: An Active Volcano Active steam vents, periodic earth tremors, and historic eruptions provide evidence that Mount Rainier is sleeping, not dead. Seismic monitoring stations around the mountain should provide days or weeks of advance warning of impending eruptions. Other geologic hazards, however, can occur with little warning. These include debris fows and rockfalls. If you are near a river and notice a rapid rise in water level, feel a prolonged shaking of the ground, and/ or hear a roaring sound coming from upvalley––often described as the sound made by a fast–moving freight train–– move quickly to higher ground––200 feet above river level should be safe. Detailed information is available at park visitor centers or from scientists at the U.S.G.S. Cascades Volcano Observatory, vulcan.wr.usgs.gov. Mount Rainier National Park Check campground open/close status locally or at nps.gov/mora/planyourvisit/hours.htm. Campground Elev. Sites Group Sites Toilets Dump Station Maximum RV/Trailer Length Cougar Rock* 3,180’ 173 5 Flush Yes RV 35’/Trailer 27’ Ohanapecosh* 1,914’ 188 2 Flush No RV 32’/Trailer 27’ White River 4,232’ 112 0 Flush No RV 27’/Trailer 18’ Mowich Lake Permits Permits are required for all overnight stays in the backcountry, and for traveling on glaciers and above 10,000 feet in elevation. Primitive walk-in campground, tents only. 10 sites. No fee (must self-register at campground kiosk). Vault toilets, no potable water. No fres allowed. Elevation 4,929’; generally open July through early October, depending on road and weather conditions. Call 360-829-9639 for information. *Advance reservations are recommended for individual sites at Cougar Rock and Ohanapecosh Campgrounds. Reservations for group sites are recommended and are available throughout the season. These can be made up to one year in advance. To make a reservation online, go to www.recreation.gov or call 877-444-6777. Some sites may be closed for hazard tree mitigations. Superintendent Chip Jenkins Mailing Address 55210 238th Avenue East Ashford, WA 98304 E-mail MORAInfo@nps.gov Park Headquarters (360) 569-2211 Lost and Found (360) 569-6608 Mount Rainier National Park | Summer-Fall 2020 | 3 Northwest: Carbon River and Mowich Lake Carbon River NPS photo Carbon and Mowich Lake Services and Facilities Facilities may be closed, or have limited hours or services. Check locally or at nps.gov/mora for facility status. Located on the “quiet side” of the park, the Carbon River valley showcases ancient forests, deep valleys, waterfalls, and a dynamic, food-prone river that fows from the Carbon Glacier, the lowestelevation glacier in the contiguous United States. Or follow State Route 165 to Mowich Lake, the park’s largest and deepest lake. Look for colorful subalpine wildfowers along its shores. From the picnic area at road’s end, trails lead to subalpine lakes, fower-strewn meadows, and amazing views of the park’s wilderness from the Tolmie Peak fre lookout. Carbon River Ranger Station Obtain permits online prior to arrival in the park. Picnic Picnic tables are located at the Carbon Camping There is a walk-in campground at Mowich Lake. A backcountry camping permit is required for the Ipsut Creek Campground at Carbon River. Campground information is available on page 2. Carbon River The dynamic, glacier-fed Chenuis Falls (Moderate, 7.8 miles, 4.5 hours round-trip) Enjoy this trail that leads across the Carbon River on a footlog to the gently cascading Chenuis Falls. From the parking lot, hike or bike 3.7 miles to the trailhead. Check trail conditions at the ranger station. The footlog is subject to wash out. Green Lake (Moderate, 10 miles, 5 hours round-trip) This trail ascends through old-growth forests to the beautiful clear lake. A short side trail before Green Lake takes you to Ranger Falls. From the parking lot hike or bike 3.2 miles to the trailhead. Carbon River that continues to braid and change channels as glacial sediment deposits shape its path. Mowich Lake Canoes glide across this subalpine lake with the wakes rufing the mountain’s refections. Enjoy the serenity while fshing the deep waters or hiking the nearby trails. The road to Mowich is unpaved after the frst three miles and may be rough. Mowich is reached via state SR 165. Carbon River Entrance Restrooms, picnic Tolmie Peak Fire Lookout (Moderate, 5.6 River Ranger Station and Entrance, and along Mowich Lake Road at Paul Peak and Mowich Lake. tables, and an interpretive trail are available. Stretch your legs on the short 0.3 mile interpretive trail and discover a unique inland rainforest among Sitka spruce, Douglas-fr, western hemlock, and western red cedar. Note that the bridge is out so this is not currently a loop trail. Carbon River Trail This former road is now a trail due to repeated fooding. Hike or bike the trail through this rainforest environment as the forest reveals views of the Carbon River and surrounding mountains. From the parking lot the trail gains approximately 600 feet in elevation along its 5 mile length; some sections are rough and rocky. Bicycles are not permitted on any other trails in the area or in any of-trail areas. Bicyclists are subject to the same laws as motor vehicles. Travel safely, and always wear a helmet. miles, 3 hours round-trip) The historic fre lookout ofers spectacular panoramic views of Mount Rainier and surrounding areas. Follow the Mowich Lake shore to Ipsut Pass for views of Carbon River Valley, Eunice Lake, and the fnal ascent up Tolmie Peak. The trail begins at the last bend in the road on the Mowich Lake Road, 5.5 miles from the park boundary. Please stay on the main trail near Eunice Lake to protect the fragile environment. Spray Park Trail (Moderate, 6 miles, 4 hours round-trip) Beautiful subalpine meadows with views of Mount Rainier are some of the rewards along this trail. The trail begins on the west side of the Mowich Lake Campground. Take the 0.25 mile spur to Spray Falls, a 300 foot cascading waterfall. Old Mine Trail (Moderate, 3 miles, 2 hours Park Partners round-trip) Explore a trip to the past by peering into the shaft of an open mine at the trail’s end. Hike or bike 1.2 miles from the parking lot to the trailhead. Washington’s National Park Fund wnpf.org Mount Rainier National Park Volunteers www.nps.gov/ mora/getinvolved/ volunteer.htm Washington Trails Association www.wta.org 4 | Mount Rainier National Park | Summer-Fall 2020 Discover Your Northwest www.discovernw.org Visit Rainier visitrainier.com Mount Rainier National Park Associates www.mrnpa.org Mount Rainier Institute www.packforest.org/ mtrainierinstitute/ Southwest: Visit Historic Longmire Deep in the valley of the Nisqually River, the village of Longmire preserves the history of the park’s frst settlement and headquarters. The Longmire Museum is the starting point for the self-guided walking tour of the Longmire Historic District, where you can get a taste of early National Park Service rustic architecture. Follow the Trail of the Shadows to learn about the park’s frst homestead and resort, next to Longmire Meadow’s mineral springs. Between Longmire and Nisqually Entrance, walk the Twin Firs Trail to view lowland old-growth forest; picnic at Kautz Creek to view the aftermath of the 1947 mudfow; or drive to Westside Road to see the dramatic results of fooding and rockfall. For great views of lava layers, glaciers, and deep glacial canyons, stop at the viewpoints along Ricksecker Point Road, between Longmire and Paradise. Bicycle or Hike Westside Road A popular mountain bike route, this gravel road is 13 miles one-way with an elevation gain of approximately 1,120 feet. Bicycles are not permitted on any park trails, or in any of-trail areas. Bicyclists are subject to the same laws as motor vehicles. Travel safely, and always wear a helmet. Twin Firs (Moderate, 0.6 miles, 30 minutes round-trip) Look for the Twin Firs trail on the north side of the road one mile east of Kautz Creek or two miles west of Longmire. This short loop trail climbs through some of the best examples of the immense Douglas-frs that line much of the road between the Nisqually Entrance and Longmire. Picnic Picnic tables and restrooms can be found at Kautz Creek, Longmire, and three miles up the road at Cougar Rock Picnic Area. Trail of the Shadows (Easy, 0.7 miles, 30 minutes round-trip) Across the road from the Longmire Museum and National Park Inn, this loop trail circles mineral springs, a beaver pond, a historic cabin, and massive Douglas-fr and western red cedar trees. This easy trail takes you through the forested edge of a meadow flled with mineral springs. Perfect for families and nature lovers. Across the road, visit the outdoor information station at the Longmire Museum and ask for Junior Ranger Activity Books, or pick up a to go lunch at the National Park Inn. Rampart Ridge (Strenuous, 4.6 miles, 2.5 hours round-trip) The Rampart Ridge Trail branches of from the west side of the Trail of the Shadows, climbs steeply to the ridge-top, then circles back to Longmire by way of the Wonderland Trail. The lower portions of this trail climb through stands of ancient trees of various ages. Some Douglas-frs on the east side of the loop are around 1,000 years old. Eagle Peak (Strenuous, 7.2 miles, 5 hours round-trip) Eagle Peak ofers panoramic views of the Nisqually Valley and Mount Rainier. The lower portions of the trail climb steeply through stands of ancient Douglas-fr and younger mountain hemlock trees. Carter Falls (Moderate, 2.2 miles, 2 hours round-trip) Stroll along the Paradise River from Cougar Rock Campground to Carter Falls. Forest ages vary from very young to very old, with some stands less than a century old and some more than 700 years old. Christine Falls A viewpoint just of the road gives you a beautiful view of Christine Falls beneath the stone arch of the road bridge. Please pull completely of the road to park in a designated pullout. Walking on the road to view the waterfall can be hazardous. Comet Falls and Van Trump Park (Strenuous, 3.6 miles, 2.5 hours round-trip to Comet Falls) Look for a diversity of wildfowers in the forest and rocky canyon environments along this rugged trail, or climb another steep mile beyond the falls to a beautiful subalpine meadow. Narada Falls A short but moderately steep walk takes you to a breathtaking view of Narada Falls, on the Paradise River. On a sunny day, you can often see a rainbow refracted in the cool spray of the falls. Longmire Services and Facilities Facilities may be closed, or have limited hours or services. Check locally or at nps.gov/mora for facility status. Longmire Museum Outdoor Information Station Restrooms Located between the Museum and historic gas station. Picnic Area Located next to the gift shop. Wilderness Information Center Obtain permits online prior to arrival in the park. National Park Inn Grab and Go food, Gift Shop, Lodging Help Shape the Future of the Carbon River Corridor Pierce County is working with property owners and recreationists to explore the future of recreation in the Carbon River Corridor (from Wilkeson to the park boundary) to develop a Cooperative Action Plan. We need your help! To learn more or become involved visit https://www.piercecountywa. gov/6801/Carbon-River-CorridorCooperative-Action Emergency Longmire Administration Building Dial 911 from any phone located inside the park NPS photo Mount Rainier National Park | Summer-Fall 2020 | 5 South: Explore Paradise Paradise Meadows Paradise Services and Facilities Facilities may be closed, or have limited hours or services. Check locally or at nps.gov/mora for facility status. Visitor Center Restrooms, Outdoor Information Station, Water Fountain Information Boards Located outdoors the visitor center to assist with planning your day at Paradise. Plaza Restrooms Located off the upper parking lot, adjacent to the main plaza. Picnic Area Located below and across the road from the lower parking lot. Paradise Wilderness Information Center (Guide House) Obtain permits online prior to arrival in the park. Besides glaciers, rivers, and forests, this area is rich in history, ofers plenty of hiking, and has breathtaking vistas and a stunning profusion of wildfowers. Plan to visit mid-week, or early or late in the day, to avoid crowds and trafc. Enjoy the meadows, take in a view of the mountain, or hike the trails. Nisqually Vista (Easy, 1.2 miles, 45 minutes round-trip) Not as steep as most trails at Paradise, this route loops through fower-flled meadows and subalpine frs to a view of the Nisqually Glacier. Myrtle Falls (Easy, 1 mile, 35 minutes roundtrip) The trail to Myrtle Falls gradually climbs through lush meadows to 60-foot Myrtle Falls. You can’t beat this walk for wildfowers or for the drama of cascading water. Keep your eyes and ears open for hoary marmots; they often sunbathe on the rocks above the creek. A network of hiking trails provides access to outstanding wildfower meadows, broad views of Mount Rainier and its glaciers, and routes for skilled climbers attempting to reach the mountain’s summit. Photographers appreciate the high-country scenery at Inspiration Point and Refection Lakes. Hikers looking for less-crowded trails might try the Lakes Trail, Mazama Ridge, and Snow Lake Trail, located just east of Paradise. Consider Nisqually Vista or Myrtle Falls for young hikers, or Alta Vista or Glacier Vista for the more ambitious. Take lots of water and sunscreen! trip) This short hike climbs to the top of Alta Peak for outstanding views of Mount Rainier, the Tatoosh Range, and, in the distance, Mount Adams. Watch for marmots as you pass through the colorful meadows. Picnic Enjoy your picnic at the main picnic area Skyline Trail (Strenuous, 5.5 miles, 4.5 hours located below the lower parking lot. There are also picnic tables in the plaza outside the visitor center. round-trip) This trail ofers a grand tour of Paradise Meadows, passing Alta Vista, Glacier Vista, Panorama Point, Pebble Creek, and Sluiskin and Myrtle Falls. The elevation ranges from 5,400 to 7,000 feet, with wet and dry, exposed and sheltered habitats. Shorter sections of the trail can be done, too. Information Boards Stop at one of the information boards set up around Paradise for trip planning information and maps. Outdoor Information Station To pick Alta Vista via the Alta Vista & Skyline Trails (Moderate, 1.75 miles, 1.25 hours round- Great Mountain Views Mount Rainier can up a brochure or talk to a ranger look for the information station set up outside the visitor center. Deadhorse Creek (Moderate, 2.5 miles, 1.75 hours round-trip) The fowers in this sheltered canyon bloom later but often more luxuriantly than anywhere else. Loop back on the Skyline Trail, or continue on to Glacier Vista. be seen from many locations at Paradise. You may need to move a short distance or wait for some clouds to move, but the parking lots, plazas, and trails all ofer good views of the mountain when skies are clear. There is no one best spot to see the mountain, but we recommend the Nisqually Vista Trail or the Alta Vista via the Alta Vista and Skyline Trails. Tatoosh Range and Autumn Sunset JD Hascup photo 6 | Mount Rainier National Park | Summer-Fall 2020 Best Trails for Waterfall Views Follow one of these hikes to view waterfalls in or near Paradise. Stay safe by not walking or climbing on rocks near waterfalls. Please stay on designated trails. designated a National Historic Landmark District. Notice the massive timbers and local stone blending the buildings with the natural settings and the steeply pitched roofs that shed heavy snow loads. Skyline Trail to Myrtle Falls and view of Sluiskin Falls View Sluiskin Falls northwest of Myrtle Falls from Skyline trail just past Myrtle Falls. Paradise Inn opened in 1917, is one of the oldest inns in the National Park system. The natural log architecture and handmade furniture makes this building a special visit. Former President Harry Truman played at the piano in 1945. Paradise to Ruby Falls and Narada Falls 2.2 miles round-trip. 800’ elevation gain. Average hiking time: 1.5 hours. From the southeast corner of the upper parking lot, take the Lakes Trail down. Follow signs for Narada Falls. Enjoy the cascading Ruby Falls before reaching the Narada Falls parking area and viewpoint. Return the same route. Historic Buildings Paradise has long been a destination for people attracted to Mount Rainier. In 1886, early entrepreneurs began providing visitor services at Paradise. Since then, the need for visitor facilities has grown and changed. Much of the 1920’s village-like development has been removed throughout the years. Even so, in 1990, the roads, buildings, and trails th