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 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).
  • 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.

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

Intermediate Glacier Travel Field Trip - Paradise

Climbing Field trip: Intermediate Glacier Travel
Intermediate Glacier Travel Field Trip
Difficulty: Easy, Easy/Moderate
Sat, Jul 31, 2021
No Prerequisites
1 participant 0 instructors
Registration closes Jul 29
Seattle Branch

Day Hike - Paradise Area

Photography Trip
This is a photography trip not a hike: the pace will be slower with frequent
Difficulty: Easy, Easy/Moderate
Sat, Jul 31, 2021
No Prerequisites
0 participants
Registration closes Jul 30
Seattle Branch

Day Hike - Paradise Area Trails

Day Hiking Trip
Hike for 10.5 miles (with 3000' of gain) through the flower meadows of Paradise. In
Difficulty: Strenuous
Tue, Aug 3, 2021
No Prerequisites
4 participants
Registration closes Aug 1
Tacoma Branch

Day Hike - Paradise

Day Hiking Trip
Enjoy the best of Mount Rainier at Paradise. By combining the High Lakes and Skyline
Difficulty: Moderate
Wed, Aug 4, 2021
No Prerequisites
2 participants on waitlist
Registration closes Aug 2
Tacoma Branch

Intermediate Glacier Travel Field Trip - Paradise

Climbing Field trip: Intermediate Glacier Travel
Intermediate Glacier Travel Field Trip. Back up area is paradise/nisqually.
Difficulty: Easy, Easy/Moderate
Sat, Aug 7, 2021
No Prerequisites
0 participants 1 instructor
Registration closes Aug 5
Seattle Branch

Day Hike - Paradise Area Trails

Day Hiking Trip
Hike for 10.5 miles (with 3000' of gain) through the flower meadows of Paradise. In
Difficulty: Strenuous
Tue, Aug 10, 2021
No Prerequisites
3 participants
Registration closes Aug 8
Tacoma Branch

Day Hike - Paradise Area Trails

Day Hiking Trip
Hike for 10.5 miles (with 3000' of gain) through the flower meadows of Paradise. In
Difficulty: Strenuous
Tue, Aug 17, 2021
No Prerequisites
1 participant
Registration closes Aug 15
Tacoma Branch

Day Hike - Paradise Area Trails

Day Hiking Trip
Hike for 10.5 miles (with 3000' of gain) through the flower meadows of Paradise. In
Difficulty: Strenuous
Tue, Aug 24, 2021
No Prerequisites
6 participants
Registration closes Aug 22
Tacoma Branch

Basic Snowshoe Field Trip - Paradise

Snowshoeing Field trip: Basic Snowshoeing
Basic Snowshoe Field Trip
Difficulty: Easy, Easy/Moderate
Sat, Dec 18, 2021
No Prerequisites
30 participants
Registration opens Sep 1
Tacoma Branch

Basic Snowshoe Field Trip - Paradise

Snowshoeing Field trip: Basic Snowshoeing
Basic Snowshoe Field Trip
Difficulty: Easy, Easy/Moderate
Sat, Jan 15, 2022
No Prerequisites
30 participants
Registration opens Sep 1
Tacoma Branch

Basic Snowshoe Field Trip - Paradise

Snowshoeing Field trip: Basic Snowshoeing
Basic Snowshoe Field Trip
Difficulty: Easy, Easy/Moderate
Sun, Jan 30, 2022
No Prerequisites
30 participants
Registration opens Sep 1
Tacoma Branch

Intermediate Snowshoe - Field Trip 1 (Avalanche) - Paradise

Snowshoeing Field trip: Intermediate Snowshoeing
Intermediate Snowshoe Field Trip 1 (Avalanche)
Difficulty: Easy, Easy/Moderate
Sat, Feb 26, 2022
Prerequisites
20 participants
Registration opens Sep 1
Tacoma Branch

Intermediate Snowshoe - Field Trip 1 (Avalanche) - Paradise

Snowshoeing Field trip: Intermediate Snowshoeing
Intermediate Snowshoe Field Trip 1 (Avalanche)
Difficulty: Easy, Easy/Moderate
Sun, Feb 27, 2022
Prerequisites
20 participants
Registration opens Sep 1
Tacoma Branch

Intermediate Snowshoe - Field Trip 2 (Snow Travel) - Paradise

Snowshoeing Field trip: Intermediate Snowshoeing
Intermediate Snowshoe Field Trip 2 (Snow Travel)
Difficulty: Easy, Easy/Moderate
Sat, Apr 2, 2022
Prerequisites
20 participants
Registration opens Sep 1
Tacoma Branch

Intermediate Snowshoe - Field Trip 2 (Snow Travel) - Paradise

Snowshoeing Field trip: Intermediate Snowshoeing
Intermediate Snowshoe Field Trip 2 (Snow Travel)
Difficulty: Easy, Easy/Moderate
Sun, Apr 3, 2022
Prerequisites
20 participants
Registration opens Sep 1
Tacoma Branch

BC Field Trip #4: Snow Weekend - Paradise Area (winter)

Climbing Field trip: Basic AlpineClimbing Course
Olympia Basic Climbing Course - Snow Weekend
Difficulty: Easy, Easy/Moderate
Sat, Apr 9, 2022 - Sun, Apr 10, 2022
No Prerequisites
30 participants 29 instructors
Registration closes Apr 7
Olympia Branch

WCR - 2 person glacier travel & crevasse rescue - Paradise Area

Climbing Field trip: Winter Mountaineering & Advanced Crevasse Rescue
A day of solo rescue practice on snow
Difficulty: Easy, Easy/Moderate
Sat, May 21, 2022
No Prerequisites
6 participants 5 instructors
Registration closes May 19
Foothills 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