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.

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 varied array 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

permits & scheduling

  • 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.
  • Please note - per park regulations, mountaineering training is only permitted at Paradise and Nisqually Glacier. Only one group per day is allowed to conduct training at these locations.
  • Trips with more than 24 people (including instructors) must have a Special Use Permit (SUP) from Mt Rainier National Park. Branch activity committees are responsible for applying for these SUPs. More information and regulations on Permits for Organized Group Recreation can be found on Mt Rainier's website, and the application for this permit can be downloaded here. If additional support is required, please contact Amanda Virbitsky at amandav@mountaineers.org.
  • 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
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



Tacoma Explorers Snowshoe - Paradise

Snowshoeing Field trip: Tacoma Explorers
Have some fun hiking through fresh winter snow!
Difficulty: Easy, Easy/Moderate
Sat, Dec 15, 2018
No Prerequisites
1 participant 0 instructors 1 chaperone
Registration closes Dec 13
Tacoma Branch

Field trip - Paradise (Mount Rainier)

Snowshoeing Field trip: Basic Snowshoeing
Hands on practice of snow travel skills and hazard identification during a short snowshoe trek
Difficulty: Easy, Easy/Moderate
Sat, Dec 15, 2018
No Prerequisites
0 participants 4 instructors
Registration closes Dec 13
Tacoma Branch

Backcountry Ski/Snowboard - Paradise Area (winter)

Backcountry Skiing Trip
Search for the best early season snow in the Paradise area.
Sun, Dec 16, 2018
Prerequisites, Leader's Permission Required
3 participants on waitlist 0 leaders
Registration closes Dec 14
Foothills Branch

Backcountry Ski/Snowboard - Paradise Area (winter)

Backcountry Skiing Trip
Moderate paced tour for intermediate sliders to McClure Rock near Paradise at Mt. Rainier. Trail
Fri, Dec 21, 2018
Prerequisites
1 participant on waitlist 0 leaders
Registration closes Dec 19
Foothills Branch

Beginner Snowshoe - Paradise

Snowshoeing Trip
An easy snowshoe on our favorite mountain!
Difficulty: Easy, Easy/Moderate
Wed, Jan 2, 2019
No Prerequisites
6 participants on waitlist
Registration closes Jan 3
Tacoma Branch

Basic Snowshoe - Paradise Area (winter)

Snowshoeing Trip
Come out and enjoy a gentle and scenic romp in the snow around our favorite
Difficulty: Easy, Easy/Moderate
Sat, Jan 5, 2019
Prerequisites
8 participants on waitlist
Registration closes Jan 3
Tacoma Branch

Backcountry Ski/Snowboard - Paradise Area (winter)

Backcountry Skiing Trip
Discovery Tour. M1 Trip. Primary Co-Leaders: Jeanette Morrison and Ron Jarvis. Primary trip objective: Safe
Difficulty: Easy, Easy/Moderate
Sun, Jan 6, 2019
Prerequisites
7 participants on waitlist 0 leaders
Registration closes Jan 1
Foothills Branch

AIARE L1 Field Work 3rd Day 1st trip - Paradise

Avalanche Safety Field trip: AIARE 1 Avalanche Course
AIARE Level 1 Field Work, 3rd day of course, 1st field trip / Mount Rainier
Difficulty: Easy, Easy/Moderate
Sat, Jan 26, 2019
No Prerequisites, Leader's Permission Required
2 participants
Registration closes Jan 24
Olympia Branch

AIARE L1 Field Work 4th day 2nd trip - Paradise

Avalanche Safety Field trip: AIARE 1 Avalanche Course
AIARE L1 Field Work 4th day (last day) of the series, 2nd fieldtrip. Edgeworks is
Difficulty: Easy, Easy/Moderate
Sun, Jan 27, 2019
No Prerequisites, Leader's Permission Required
2 participants
Registration closes Jan 25
Olympia Branch

Intermediate Glacier Travel Field Trip - Paradise

Climbing Field trip: Intermediate Glacier Travel
Intermediate Glacier Travel Field Trip
Difficulty: Easy, Easy/Moderate
Sat, Feb 9, 2019 - Sun, Feb 10, 2019
No Prerequisites
0 participants 1 instructor
Registration closes Feb 7
Seattle Branch

Intermediate Glacier Travel - Winter Overnight Field Trip - Paradise Area (winter)

Climbing Field trip: Intermediate Glacier Travel Unit
Winter Overnight field trip
Difficulty: Easy, Easy/Moderate
Sat, Feb 9, 2019 - Sun, Feb 10, 2019
Prerequisites
24 participants 6 instructors
Registration closes Feb 9
Tacoma Branch

Olympia Explorers Snow-Shelter Building - Paradise

Youth Field trip: Explorers-Olympia
Learning how to build strong and stable snow shelters
Difficulty: Easy, Easy/Moderate
Sat, Feb 9, 2019
No Prerequisites
14 participants
Registration closes Feb 7
Olympia Branch

Intermediate Glacier Travel Field Trip - Paradise

Climbing Field trip: Intermediate Glacier Travel
Intermediate Glacier Travel Field Trip
Difficulty: Easy, Easy/Moderate
Sat, Feb 16, 2019 - Sun, Feb 17, 2019
No Prerequisites
0 participants 0 instructors
Registration closes Feb 7
Seattle Branch

Tacoma Explorers Snow Shelter Building - Paradise

Snowshoeing Field trip: Tacoma Explorers
Explorers will learn to construct snow shelters such as igloos and snow caves!
Difficulty: Easy/Moderate
Sat, Feb 16, 2019
No Prerequisites
6 participants 0 chaperones
Registration closes Feb 14
Tacoma Branch

Overnight - Paradise

Snowshoeing & Family Field trip: Winter Camping Course
Winter Overnight Field Trip
Sat, Mar 2, 2019 - Sun, Mar 3, 2019
No Prerequisites
43 participants 9 instructors
Registration closes Feb 28
Tacoma Branch

AIARE Avalanche Rescue/Level 2 - Field Trip 1 (Day 3 of Course) - Paradise

Avalanche Safety Field trip: AIARE Avalanche Rescue + Level 2 Combined Course
AIARE Avalanche Rescue field trip at Paradise, Mount Rainier National Park.
Difficulty: Easy, Easy/Moderate
Fri, Mar 8, 2019
No Prerequisites
0 participants
Registration closes Mar 6
Olympia Branch

AIARE Avalanche Rescue/Level 2 - Field Trip 2 (Day 4 of Course) - Paradise

Avalanche Safety Field trip: AIARE Avalanche Rescue + Level 2 Combined Course
Field trip 2 for AIARE Rescue/L2 course, located in the Paradise area, Mount Rainier National
Difficulty: Easy, Easy/Moderate
Sat, Mar 9, 2019
No Prerequisites
2 participants
Registration closes Mar 7
Olympia Branch

Snow I Field Trip - Paradise

Scrambling Field trip: Alpine Scrambling Course
This Field Trip to cover basic Snow Travel Techniques, Ice ax arrests, and glissade techniques,
Difficulty: Easy, Easy/Moderate
Sat, Mar 9, 2019
No Prerequisites
33 participants 7 instructors
Registration closes Jan 22
Olympia Branch

AIARE Avalanche Rescue/Level 2 - Field Trip 3 (Day 5 of Course) - Paradise

Avalanche Safety Field trip: AIARE Avalanche Rescue + Level 2 Combined Course
Final AIARE L2 field trip in the Paradise area, Mount Rainier National Park.
Difficulty: Easy, Easy/Moderate
Sun, Mar 10, 2019
No Prerequisites
0 participants
Registration closes Mar 8
Olympia Branch

Snow 1 Field Trip- Olympia Basic Climbing- Paradise - Paradise (Mount Rainier)

Climbing Field trip: Basic Climbing Course
BC Snow 1 FT covering snow travel techniques, ice ax arrests, fixed line, snow anchors
Difficulty: Easy, Easy/Moderate
Sat, Mar 16, 2019
No Prerequisites
28 participants 0 instructors
Registration closes Mar 14
Olympia Branch

Basic Mountaineering - Snow 1 Field Trip - Paradise Area (winter)

Climbing Field trip: Basic Climbing Course
Basic Mountaineering - Snow 1 Field Trip
Difficulty: Easy, Easy/Moderate
Sat, Mar 16, 2019 - Sun, Mar 17, 2019
Prerequisites
21 participants 9 instructors
Registration closes Mar 13
Kitsap Branch

Tacoma Basic FT 3 - Winter Overnight - Paradise

Climbing Field trip: Basic Climbing Course
Tacoma Basic Climbing FT 3 - Winter Overnight
Difficulty: Easy, Easy/Moderate
Sat, Mar 30, 2019 - Sun, Mar 31, 2019
Prerequisites
45 participants
Registration closes Mar 28
Tacoma Branch

Snow Weekend - Paradise (Mount Rainier)

Climbing Field trip: Basic Climbing Course
Basic Climbing Course - Olympia/Snow Weekend
Difficulty: Easy, Easy/Moderate
Sat, Apr 6, 2019 - Sun, Apr 7, 2019
No Prerequisites
28 participants 3 instructors on waitlist
Registration closes Apr 4
Olympia Branch

ACSC Snow 1 Field Trip (Tacoma) - Paradise

Scrambling Field trip: Alpine Scrambling Course
Snow 1 Field Trip. Snow travel, Ice Axe arrest, Glissading, Avalanche awareness, and hazards recognition.
Difficulty: Easy, Easy/Moderate
Sat, Apr 20, 2019
No Prerequisites
28 participants 4 instructors
Registration closes Apr 18
Tacoma Branch

Snow II Field Trip - Paradise

Scrambling Field trip: Alpine Scrambling Course
This is our second Ice Ax Arrest practice.
Difficulty: Easy, Easy/Moderate
Sat, May 11, 2019
No Prerequisites
33 participants 10 instructors
Registration closes Jan 22
Olympia Branch

GTCR Field Trip - Mt. Rainier National Park - Paradise

Backcountry Skiing Field trip: Glacier Skiing/Snowboarding and Crevasse Rescue
Mt. Rainier National Park, Paradise Ranger Station
Difficulty: Easy, Easy/Moderate
Sat, May 11, 2019 - Sun, May 12, 2019
No Prerequisites
11 participants
Registration closes May 9
Foothills Branch

Tacoma Basic FT 6 & 7 - Critical Skills Exam: Ice Axe Arrest, Ice Axe Techniques, Snow & Roped Glacier Travel - Paradise

Climbing Field trip: Basic Climbing Course
Tacoma Basic FT 6 & 7 - Critical Skills Exam: Ice Axe Arrest, Ice Axe
Difficulty: Easy, Easy/Moderate
Sat, Jun 1, 2019 - Sun, Jun 2, 2019
Prerequisites
45 participants
Registration closes May 30
Tacoma Branch

Snow II Tacoma Alpine Scrambles Field Trip - Paradise

Scrambling Field trip: Alpine Scrambling Course
Snow II Tacoma Alpine Scrambles Field Trip
Difficulty: Easy, Easy/Moderate
Sat, Jun 8, 2019
No Prerequisites
28 participants 5 instructors
Registration closes Jun 1
Tacoma Branch
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
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