Paradise

Explore Mount Rainier National Park's most popular area. In summer experience fantastic views of the mountain, brilliant wildflowers and the occasional marmot lounging on the rocks. In winter, this area is a backcountry skiing and snowshoer's paradise. Travel to Alta Vista, Glacier Vista, Mazama Ridge, and the variety of winter trails between the Paradise parking lot and Panorama Point. Learn lots about the park and Mount Rainier at the Jackson Visitor Center.

Temporary Midweek Closure - Weekend Access Only

11/29/2022 Update: For the winter of 2022-23, public access to Paradise is limited to Saturdays and Sundays, weather/staff/equipment dependent. Due to staffing shortages the park does not have the capacity to maintain public access 7 day/week. See the full announcement on Mount Rainier National Park’s website.

getting there

From SR-7 in Elbe, turn east onto SR-706, both known as the National Park Highway. Continue through the Nisqually Entrance of Mount Rainier National Park. Be prepared to pay the fee just after entering the park. Drive 19 miles to Paradise.

In winter, ALL drivers in the park are required to carry snow chains or equivalent traction devices—this includes those with a 4-wheel or  all-wheel drive vehicle. Those without a 4-wheel or all-wheel drive vehicle may be required to install them at Longmire or beyond.

hiking Trails to explore

  • Nisqually Vista Loop: 1.4 miles with 400 feet elevation gain
  • Alta Vista Loop: 1.5 miles with 540 feet elevation gain.
  • Golden Gate: 3.2 miles with 1000 feet of elevation gain
  • Mazama Ridge: 7 miles with 600 feet of elevation gain

SKIING routes

A variety of backcountry skiing terrain is available around Paradise allowing safe and enjoyable ski touring in most weather and snow conditions.

SNOWSHOEING routes

Lots of open terrain to make your own path. If you bear to the right (east) from the parking lot towards the moderate more tree-filled terrain you'll encounter fewer skiers and potentially a few small creek crossings filled with beautiful frozen water formations.

Information for LEADERS

Internal Climbing and Scrambling Lottery

  • In an effort to help manage our impact on this popular area, Paradise has been added to the list of routes/places that are part of our Internal Climbing and Scrambling Lottery.
  • The 2022 Mountaineers Internal Lottery results are now final. Please select the Paradise tab to view the results for this location. If you are scheduling a course trip here for 2022, please check this spreadsheet before listing your trip to be sure your course has priority for the field trip date(s) you are scheduling and that there is no other course that already has priority.
  • The 2023 Mountaineers Internal Lottery results are now final. Please select the Paradise tab to view the results for this location. If you are scheduling a course trip here for 2023, please check this spreadsheet before listing your trip to be sure your course has priority for the field trip date(s) you are scheduling and that there is no other course that already has priority.

permits & scheduling

  • Before scheduling your trip to Paradise, please review the facilitated access permitting guidelines outlined hereAll activities with a total group size of 25 or more people  must obtain a Special Use Permit (SUP) from Mt. Rainier National Park. Branch activity committees are responsible for obtaining these SUPs.
  • If you are scheduling this as a non-course related activity, please limit your group size to the default party size. The maximum party size is for use by course field trips only, and includes both students and instructors. Group size maximums do not reflect how course field trips are run (in smaller groups of students and instructors), but allow for course leaders to register the course in our system.
  • This route allows multiple bookings. Please check scheduled trips listed below in the "Activities" tab to see if there is another group already booked on the same day. If so, please coordinate with them to ensure you are carpooling and teaching at different areas.
  • In winter, this area is used by our branches to host snow field trips and is a generally popular winter exploration area. Please check other routes/places to ensure we don't have multiple Mountaineers groups going to the same area, and be sure to use one of these if that's your planned destination.
  • Difficulty: Easy, Easy/Moderate
  • Elevation Gain: 500 ft
  • 5,900 ft
  • Land Manager: Mount Rainier National Park
  • Parking Permit Required: National Park Entrance Fee
  • Recommended Party Size: 12
  • Maximum Party Size: 60
  • Maximum Route/Place Capacity: 60
Map
  • USGS Mt Rainier East
  • Green Trails Mt Rainier East No. 270
  • Green Trails Paradise No. 270S
  • Green Trails Mount Rainier Wonderland No. 269SX
Activities

Upcoming Activities

TAC MAC Snow Skills Trip - Paradise

Youth Field trip: Mountaineers Adventure Club - Tacoma
MAC will head to the mountains to practice snow skills
Difficulty: Easy, Easy/Moderate
Sat, Dec 10, 2022
No Prerequisites
12 participants 0 instructors 0 chaperones
Registration closes Dec 8
Tacoma Branch

Field Trip - Paradise

Avalanche Safety Field trip: AIARE 1 Avalanche Class
AIARE 1 course covering decision making, trip planning, snowpack, terrain and companion rescue for climbers,
Difficulty: Easy, Easy/Moderate
Sun, Dec 11, 2022
No Prerequisites
0 participants 1 instructor
Registration closed Nov 16
Seattle Branch

Basic Snowshoe - Paradise

Snowshoeing Trip
A nice snowshoe trip into Edith Basin.
Difficulty: Easy, Easy/Moderate
Sat, Dec 17, 2022
Prerequisites
4 participants on waitlist 1 leader
Registration closes Dec 15
Tacoma Branch

Field Trip - Paradise

Avalanche Safety Field trip: AIARE 1 Avalanche Class
AIARE 1 course covering decision making, trip planning, snowpack, terrain and companion rescue for climbers,
Difficulty: Easy, Easy/Moderate
Sun, Dec 18, 2022
No Prerequisites
1 participant 1 instructor
Registration closed Nov 16
Seattle Branch

Basic Snowshoe Instructor Orientation - Paradise Area (winter)

Snowshoeing Seminar
A day out to review and practice the skills taught at the Basic Snowshoe field
Difficulty: Easy, Easy/Moderate
Sat, Dec 31, 2022
Prerequisites, Leader's Permission Required
4 participants 2 leaders
Registration closes Dec 15
Tacoma Branch

Basic Snowshoe Field Trip - Paradise Area (winter)

Snowshoeing Field trip: Basic Snowshoeing
Basic Snowshoe Field Trip
Difficulty: Easy, Easy/Moderate
Sat, Jan 7, 2023
No Prerequisites
1 participant 0 instructors
Registration closed Nov 25
Tacoma Branch

Basic Snowshoe Field Trip - Paradise Area (winter)

Snowshoeing Field trip: Basic Snowshoeing
Basic Snowshoe Field Trip
Difficulty: Easy, Easy/Moderate
Sun, Jan 8, 2023
No Prerequisites
10 participants 0 instructors
Registration closed Nov 25
Tacoma Branch

Intermediate Snowshoe - Field Trip 1 (Avalanche) - Paradise Area (winter)

Snowshoeing Field trip: Intermediate Snowshoeing
Intermediate Snowshoe Field Trip 1 (Avalanche) This is one of two field trips. You must
Difficulty: Easy/Moderate
Sat, Jan 14, 2023
Prerequisites
7 participants 2 instructors
Registration closes Dec 9
Tacoma Branch

Intermediate Snowshoe - Field Trip 2 (Snow Travel) - Paradise Area (winter)

Snowshoeing Field trip: Intermediate Snowshoeing
Intermediate Snowshoe Field Trip 2 (Snow Travel) This is one of two field trips. You
Difficulty: Easy/Moderate
Sun, Jan 15, 2023
Prerequisites
6 participants 2 instructors
Registration closes Dec 9
Tacoma Branch

Seattle Pathfinders & Nomads Snowshoe - Paradise

Youth Youth activity
Join the Pathfinders and Nomads for a fun snow play day at Rainier!
Difficulty: Easy, Easy/Moderate
Mon, Jan 16, 2023
Prerequisites
13 participants
Registration closes Jan 14
Seattle Branch
Tom Knee
Qualified Youth Leader

Jr. MAC Winter Weekend Trips - Paradise

Youth Youth activity: Jr. MAC - WINTER
We will learn the basics to any glacier climb, which include snow shoeing, glissading, self
Difficulty: Easy, Easy/Moderate
Sat, Jan 21, 2023
No Prerequisites
8 participants
Registration closes Jan 19
Olympia Branch

Explorers Winter Weekend Trips - Paradise

Youth Youth activity: Explorers - WINTER
We will learn about snow shoes and glissading techniques, as well as avalanche risk, how
Difficulty: Easy, Easy/Moderate
Sat, Jan 21, 2023
No Prerequisites
11 participants
Registration closes Jan 19
Olympia Branch

Seattle Pathfinders & Nomads Snowshoe - Paradise

Youth Youth activity
Join the Pathfinders and Nomads for a day snowshoeing!
Difficulty: Easy, Easy/Moderate
Sat, Jan 28, 2023
Prerequisites
11 participants
Registration closes Jan 26
Seattle Branch
Tom Knee
Qualified Youth Leader

Winter Camping - Field Trip - Paradise Area (winter)

Snowshoeing Field trip: Winter Camping
An overnight field trip to learn and practice the new skills of winter camping
Difficulty: Easy, Easy/Moderate
Sat, Jan 28, 2023 - Sun, Jan 29, 2023
No Prerequisites
17 participants 1 instructor
Registration closes Nov 11
Tacoma Branch

Winter Travel Snowshoe Field Trip - Paradise Area (winter)

Snowshoeing Field trip: Basic Snowshoeing
This one day field trip will teach the techniques required to get around in snow
Difficulty: Easy, Easy/Moderate
Sun, Jan 29, 2023
No Prerequisites
7 participants 5 instructors
Registration closes Jan 3
Olympia Branch

Basic Manuevers Field Trip - Paradise

Backcountry Skiing Field trip: Ski and Snowboard Mountaineering
Instruction and practice in the field: Operation of backcountry equipment, safe travel, efficient skinning, kick
Difficulty: Easy, Easy/Moderate
Sat, Feb 4, 2023
No Prerequisites
9 participants
Registration closes Feb 3
Foothills Branch

Adventure Activity - Paradise Area (winter)

Youth Youth activity: Mini Mountaineers
A day of snow play for Mini Mountaineers!
Difficulty: Easy, Easy/Moderate
Sat, Feb 4, 2023
No Prerequisites
3 participants on waitlist
Registration closes Feb 2
Tacoma Branch

Jr. MAC Winter Weekend Trips - Paradise

Youth Youth activity: Jr. MAC - WINTER
We will learn how to properly rope up as a team, traveling techniques while roped
Difficulty: Easy, Easy/Moderate
Sat, Feb 18, 2023
No Prerequisites
8 participants
Registration closes Feb 16
Olympia Branch

Seattle Explorers & Jr. MAC Snow Cave Building - Paradise

Youth Youth activity
Join Explorers and Jr MAC for a day of learning snow skills!
Difficulty: Easy, Easy/Moderate
Mon, Feb 20, 2023
Prerequisites
17 participants
Registration closes Feb 18
Seattle Branch
Tom Knee
Qualified Youth Leader

Seattle MAC - Overnight Snow Camping Trip - Paradise Area (winter)

Youth Youth activity: Mountaineers Adventure Club
An overnight snow camp to practice our snow camping and winter layering skills! This trip
Difficulty: Easy, Easy/Moderate
Sat, Feb 25, 2023 - Sun, Feb 26, 2023
Prerequisites
8 participants 2 instructors 2 chaperones
Registration closes Feb 23
Seattle Branch
Carl Marrs
Qualified Youth Leader
Trip Reports
Titles

This is a list of titles that represent the variations of trips you can take at this route/place. This includes side trips, extensions and peak combinations. Not seeing a title that fits your trip? Log in and send us updates, images, or resources.

  • Paradise (Mount Rainier)
  • Paradise Area
  • Paradise Area (winter)
  • Paradise Trails
  • Paradise Area Trails
  • Nisqually Vista Loop
  • Alta Vista Loop
  • Golden Gate
  • Mazama Ridge
  • Dead Horse Creek
  • Skyline Loop
  • Panorama Point to Skyline Trail