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.


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 and the 2021 Paradise Internal Lottery results are now final. If you are scheduling a course trip here, please check the appropriate internal lottery results 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
  • USGS Mt Rainier East
  • Green Trails Mt Rainier East No. 270
  • Green Trails Paradise No. 270S
  • Green Trails Mount Rainier Wonderland No. 269SX

Upcoming Activities

Alpine Scrambling Course - Kitsap - Class 3 - Paradise

Scrambling Lecture: Alpine Scrambling Course
Snow - That beautiful blanket that changes the mountain environment in majestically inviting ways, yet
Difficulty: Easy, Easy/Moderate
Sat, Dec 12, 2020
12 participants 2 instructors
Registration closes Dec 10
Kitsap Branch

BBBS - Snowshoe - Paradise

Youth Field trip: Mountain Workshop - Big Brothers Big Sisters
This program that we are providing for Big Brothers Big Sisters of Thurston County will
Difficulty: Easy, Easy/Moderate
Sat, Feb 6, 2021
No Prerequisites
10 participants
Registration closes Feb 4
Olympia Branch
Trip Reports

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