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



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
10 participants 1 instructor
Registration closes Oct 27
Kitsap Branch

Y-WE Snowshoeing - Paradise

Youth Youth activity: Mountain Workshop - Young Women Empowered
Snowshoeing with Young Woman Empowered
Difficulty: Easy, Easy/Moderate
Sat, Dec 8, 2018
No Prerequisites
1 participant 1 instructor
Registration closes Dec 6
Seattle Branch

MAC Snow Skills Trip - Paradise

Youth Field trip: Mountaineers Adventure Club - Tacoma
MAC will head to the mountains to practice snow skills
Sat, Dec 8, 2018
No Prerequisites
9 participants 1 instructor on waitlist 1 chaperone
Registration closes Dec 6
Tacoma Branch

Olympia Explorers Snowshoe - Paradise

Snowshoeing Field trip: Explorers-Olympia
Snowshoeing with Olympia Explorers
Difficulty: Easy, Easy/Moderate
Sun, Dec 9, 2018
No Prerequisites
11 participants
Registration closes Dec 7
Olympia 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
21 participants
Registration closes Feb 7
Olympia 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
8 participants 1 chaperone
Registration closes Feb 14
Tacoma 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
43 participants 3 instructors on waitlist
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
38 participants 8 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 10 instructors
Registration closes Mar 13
Kitsap 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
38 participants 10 instructors
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
37 participants 7 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
43 participants 1 instructor on waitlist
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
15 participants
Registration closes May 9
Foothills 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 1, 2019
No Prerequisites
29 participants 5 instructors
Registration closes May 30
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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