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 variety 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 2022 Mountaineers Internal Lottery results are now final. Please select the Paradise tab to view the results for this location. If you are scheduling a course trip here for 2022, please check this spreadsheet before listing your trip to be sure your course has priority for the field trip date(s) you are scheduling and that there is no other course that already has priority.
  • The 2023 Mountaineers Internal Lottery results are now final. Please select the Paradise tab to view the results for this location. If you are scheduling a course trip here for 2023, please check this spreadsheet before listing your trip to be sure your course has priority for the field trip date(s) you are scheduling and that there is no other course that already has priority.

permits & scheduling

  • Before scheduling your trip to Paradise, please review the facilitated access permitting guidelines outlined hereAll activities with a total group size of 25 or more people  must obtain a Special Use Permit (SUP) from Mt. Rainier National Park. Branch activity committees are responsible for obtaining these 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

Day Hike - Paradise Area Trails

Day Hiking Trip
Hike up Mazama Ridge to Paradise and return.
Difficulty: Easy, Easy/Moderate
Wed, Jul 6, 2022
No Prerequisites
3 participants on waitlist 1 leader
Registration closes Jul 4
Tacoma Branch

BC Field Trip #3: Snow Travel - Paradise

Climbing Field trip: Basic Alpine Climbing Course
Olympia Basic Climbing Course - Snow Travel
Difficulty: Easy, Easy/Moderate
Sat, Mar 18, 2023
No Prerequisites
24 participants 14 instructors
Registration closes Mar 16
Olympia Branch

BC Field Trip #4: Snow Weekend - Paradise

Climbing Field trip: Basic Alpine Climbing Course
Olympia Basic Climbing Course - Snow Weekend
Difficulty: Easy, Easy/Moderate
Sat, Apr 15, 2023 - Sun, Apr 16, 2023
No Prerequisites
24 participants 14 instructors
Registration closes Apr 13
Olympia Branch

BC Field Trip #4: Snow Weekend - Paradise

Climbing Field trip: Basic Alpine Climbing Course
Olympia Basic Climbing Course - Snow Weekend alternate weekend
Difficulty: Easy, Easy/Moderate
Sat, Apr 22, 2023 - Sun, Apr 23, 2023
No Prerequisites
24 participants 14 instructors
Registration closes Apr 20
Olympia Branch

WCR - Two-person Glacier Travel & Crevasse Rescue - Paradise

Climbing Field trip: Winter Mountaineering & Advanced Crevasse Rescue
These sessions are to develop the necessary skills to travel as a 2 person rope
Difficulty: Easy, Easy/Moderate
Sat, May 20, 2023 - Sun, May 21, 2023
No Prerequisites
6 participants 5 instructors
Registration closes May 18
Foothills Branch

BC Field Trip #7: Crevasse Rescue - Paradise

Climbing Field trip: Basic Alpine Climbing Course
Olympia Basic Climbing Course - Crevasse Rescue
Difficulty: Easy, Easy/Moderate
Sat, Jun 3, 2023
No Prerequisites
24 participants 14 instructors
Registration closes Jun 1
Olympia 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