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

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.

  • 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.
  • If you are scheduling a course field trip, please contact our Member Services Team to confirm the field trip and any permitting regulations.

  • 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: 150
  • Green Trails Paradise No. 270S
  • Green Trails Mount Rainier Wonderland No. 269S
  • Green Trails Mt Rainier East No. 270
  • USGS Mt Rainier East

Upcoming Activities

Day Hike - Paradise Area Trails

Day Hiking Trip
Wildflowers, 7.5 miles, 2000', the route is in the leader's notes.
Sat, Aug 18, 2018
No Prerequisites
0 participants
Registration closes Aug 15
Foothills Branch

Stewardship - Paradise

Stewardship Trip
Trail work will be in the Paradise area; the work should consist of stabilizing the
Difficulty: Easy, Easy/Moderate
Sat, Sep 29, 2018
No Prerequisites
40 participants
Registration closes Sep 17
Olympia Branch

Kitsap Scramble FT #3 - Winter Travel - Paradise

Avalanche Safety Field trip: Alpine Scrambling Course
Ice axe arrest, glissading, avalanche awareness, snow shelters, snow travel and crampon use.
Difficulty: Easy, Easy/Moderate
Sat, Nov 3, 2018
No Prerequisites
5 participants 2 instructors
Registration closes Oct 27
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 9, 2019
No Prerequisites
50 participants 9 instructors
Registration closes Jan 22
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
42 participants 16 instructors
Registration closes Mar 14
Olympia 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
42 participants 16 instructors
Registration closes Apr 4
Olympia 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
50 participants 9 instructors
Registration closes Jan 22
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