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

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 2020 Paradise Internal Lottery results are now final. If you are scheduling a course trip here for 2020, please check this document before listing your trip to be sure your course has priority for the field trip date(s) you are scheduling, or that there is no other course that already has priority in the internal lottery for your date(s).

permits & scheduling

  • Before scheduling your trip to Paradise, please review the facilitated access permitting guidelines outlined here. The park has specific regulations in place regarding locations and group sizes for mountaineering training, and Special Use Permits  (SUPs) may be required (regardless of activity type), depending on your group size. Branch activity committees are responsible for applying for their own 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



Y-WE Snowshoeing - Paradise

Youth Youth activity: Mountain Workshop - Young Women Empowered
Snowshoeing with Young Woman Empowered
Difficulty: Easy, Easy/Moderate
Sat, Dec 7, 2019
No Prerequisites
9 participants 0 instructors
Registration closes Dec 5
Seattle Branch

Alpine Scrambling Course - Kitsap - Field Trip 3 - Paradise

Scrambling Field trip: Alpine Scrambling Course
Snow! Today we travel on it, dive into it and slide over it.
Difficulty: Easy, Easy/Moderate
Sat, Dec 7, 2019
Prerequisites
1 participant 1 instructor
Registration closes Dec 5
Kitsap Branch

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
Sun, Dec 8, 2019
No Prerequisites
11 participants 0 instructors 2 chaperones
Registration closes Dec 6
Tacoma Branch

Olympia Pioneers Snowshoeing - Paradise

Youth Youth activity: Pioneers - Olympia
Let's enjoy a day in the snow!
Difficulty: Easy, Easy/Moderate
Sat, Dec 14, 2019
No Prerequisites
8 participants 6 chaperones
Registration closes Dec 12
Olympia Branch

Olympia Explorers Snowshoe - Paradise

Snowshoeing Field trip: Explorers-Olympia
Snowshoeing with Olympia Explorers
Difficulty: Easy, Easy/Moderate
Sat, Dec 14, 2019
No Prerequisites
4 participants on waitlist 1 chaperone
Registration closes Feb 20
Olympia Branch

Basic Snowshoe - Field Trip - Paradise

Snowshoeing Field trip: Basic Snowshoeing
Basic Snowshoe Field Trip
Difficulty: Easy
Sat, Dec 14, 2019
No Prerequisites
23 participants 2 instructors
Registration closes Dec 1
Tacoma Branch

Backcountry Ski/Snowboard - Paradise Area (winter)

Backcountry Skiing Trip
Discovery Tour. M1 Trip. Usual Primary Co-Leaders: Jeanette Morrison and Ron Jarvis. Primary trip objective:
Difficulty: Easy/Moderate
Sun, Jan 12, 2020
Prerequisites
1 participant on waitlist 0 leaders
Registration closes Jan 4
Foothills Branch

Adventure Activity - Paradise Area (winter)

Youth Youth activity: Mini Mountaineers
Let's get adventurous! Mini Mountaineers will experience climbing, hiking, playing in the snow, and more!
Difficulty: Easy, Easy/Moderate
Sat, Jan 18, 2020
No Prerequisites
16 participants 9 chaperones
Registration closes Jan 16
Tacoma Branch

Basic Snowshoe - Field Trip - Paradise

Snowshoeing Field trip: Basic Snowshoeing
Basic Snowshoe Field Trip
Difficulty: Easy
Sat, Jan 25, 2020
No Prerequisites
29 participants 4 instructors
Registration closes Jan 7
Tacoma Branch

Tacoma Pioneers Youth Activity - Nisqually Vista Loop

Youth Youth activity: Pioneers
A monthly activity that allows the Tacoma Pioneers to practice new skills.
Difficulty: Easy, Easy/Moderate
Sat, Jan 25, 2020
No Prerequisites
11 participants
Registration closes Jan 23
Tacoma Branch

Olympia Explorers Snow Skills Day - Paradise

Youth Youth activity: Explorers-Olympia
We will spend a day on the snow as we work to learn and practice
Difficulty: Easy, Easy/Moderate
Sat, Feb 22, 2020
No Prerequisites
1 participant
Registration closes Feb 20
Olympia Branch

Olympia Pioneers Snow Shelters - Paradise

Youth Youth activity: Pioneers - Olympia
Join us for a fun day playing in the snow and building snow caves!
Difficulty: Easy, Easy/Moderate
Sat, Feb 29, 2020
No Prerequisites
9 participants 6 chaperones
Registration closes Feb 27
Olympia Branch

Winter Camping - Field Trip - Paradise

Snowshoeing Field trip: Winter Camping
An overnight field trip to learn and practice the new skills of winter camping
Difficulty: Easy
Sat, Feb 29, 2020 - Sun, Mar 1, 2020
No Prerequisites
29 participants 3 instructors
Registration closes Feb 11
Tacoma Branch

Tacoma Pioneers Youth Activity - Paradise Area (winter)

Youth Youth activity: Pioneers
A monthly activity that allows the Tacoma Pioneers to practice new skills.
Difficulty: Easy, Easy/Moderate
Sat, Feb 29, 2020
No Prerequisites
19 participants
Registration closes Feb 27
Tacoma Branch

Intermediate Snowshoe - Field Trip 1 (Avalanche) - Paradise

Snowshoeing Lecture: Backcountry Snowshoeing
Intermediate (aka Backcountry) Snowshoe Field Trip 1 (Avalanche)
Difficulty: Moderate
Sat, Mar 7, 2020
Prerequisites
35 participants 4 instructors
Registration closes Feb 16
Tacoma Branch

Basic Mountaineering - Snow 1 Field Trip - Paradise

Climbing Field trip: Basic Climbing Course
Basic Mountaineering - Snow 1 Field Trip
Difficulty: Easy, Easy/Moderate
Sat, Mar 14, 2020 - Sun, Mar 15, 2020
No Prerequisites
10 participants 4 instructors
Registration closes Mar 12
Kitsap 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 14, 2020
No Prerequisites
36 participants 2 instructors on waitlist
Registration closes Mar 12
Olympia Branch

BC Field Trip #3: Snow Travel - Paradise

Climbing Field trip: Basic Climbing Course
Olympia Basic Climbing Course - Snow Travel
Difficulty: Easy, Easy/Moderate
Sat, Mar 21, 2020
No Prerequisites
37 participants 4 instructors
Registration closes Jan 23
Olympia Branch

Pierce County Juvenile Court - Snow Skills - Paradise

Youth Youth activity: Mountain Workshop - Pierce County Juvenile Court
Youth will learn basics of ice ax use and arrest, glissading, digging emergency shelters, and
Difficulty: Easy, Easy/Moderate
Sat, Apr 11, 2020
No Prerequisites
0 participants 3 instructors
Registration closes Apr 9
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, Apr 11, 2020
No Prerequisites
36 participants 1 instructor
Registration closes Apr 9
Olympia Branch

Tacoma Scrambling Field Trip - Snow 1 - Paradise

Scrambling Field trip: Alpine Scrambling Course
Snow 1
Difficulty: Easy, Easy/Moderate
Sat, Apr 18, 2020
Prerequisites
34 participants 4 instructors
Registration closes Mar 16
Tacoma Branch

BC Field Trip #4: Snow Weekend - Paradise

Climbing Field trip: Basic Climbing Course
Olympia Basic Climbing Course - Snow Weekend
Difficulty: Easy, Easy/Moderate
Sat, Apr 25, 2020 - Sun, Apr 26, 2020
No Prerequisites
37 participants 8 instructors
Registration closes Jan 23
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: Moderate
Sat, May 9, 2020 - Sun, May 10, 2020
No Prerequisites
16 participants 15 instructors
Registration closes Apr 9
Foothills Branch

KItsap Explorers - Winter Camping Trip! GROUP A - Paradise

Youth Youth activity: Explorers
Hiking and winter camping trip for the Kitsap Explorers youth group.
Difficulty: Easy, Easy/Moderate
Sat, May 16, 2020 - Sun, May 17, 2020
Prerequisites
8 participants 3 instructors 3 chaperones
Registration closes May 14
Kitsap 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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