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.
  • Per park regulations, mountaineering training is only permitted at Paradise and Nisqually Glacier. Only one group per day of up to 60 is allowed to conduct training at these locations.
  • Trips with more than 24 people (including instructors) must have a Special Use Permit (SUP) from Mount Rainier National Park (MRNP). Branch activity committees are responsible for applying for SUPs. More information and regulations is at Permits for Organized Group Recreation, and the application for this permit can be downloaded from  MRNPs Permits & Reservations web page. 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



Backcountry Ski/Snowboard - Paradise Area

Backcountry Skiing Trip
Moderate paced tour for intermediate sliders to McClure Rock near Paradise at Mt. Rainier. Trail
Difficulty: M1 Mountain 1 Ski
Sun, Apr 21, 2019
Prerequisites
2 participants
Registration closed Apr 17
Foothills Branch

Alpine Scramble - Paradise Area

Scrambling Trip
This is a makeup Snow 1 and additional practice for Olympia Alpine Scramble students
Difficulty: Easy, Easy/Moderate
Sat, Apr 27, 2019
Prerequisites, Leader's Permission Required
1 participant 1 leader
Registration closes Apr 25
Olympia Branch

Backcountry Ski/Snowboard - Paradise Area (winter)

Backcountry Skiing Trip
Discovery Tour. M1 Trip. Primary Co-Leaders: Jeanette Morrison and Ron Jarvis. Primary trip objective: Safe
Difficulty: Easy/Moderate
Sun, Apr 28, 2019
Prerequisites
4 participants 0 leaders
Registration closed Apr 1
Foothills 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
19 participants 5 instructors
Registration closed Feb 5
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
2 participants
Registration closes May 9
Foothills Branch

Tacoma Basic FT 6 & 7 - Critical Skills Exam: Ice Axe Arrest, Ice Axe Techniques, Snow & Roped Glacier Travel - Paradise

Climbing Field trip: Basic Climbing Course
Tacoma Basic FT 6 & 7 - Critical Skills Exam: Ice Axe Arrest, Ice Axe
Difficulty: Easy, Easy/Moderate
Sat, Jun 1, 2019 - Sun, Jun 2, 2019
Prerequisites
4 participants 3 instructors on waitlist
Registration closes May 30
Tacoma 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 8, 2019
No Prerequisites
8 participants 2 instructors
Registration closes Jun 1
Tacoma Branch

Day Hike - Paradise Area Trails

Day Hiking Trip
Experience the most spectacular alpine scenery in Mt. Rainier National Park on the popular Skyline
Difficulty: Easy
Fri, Sep 6, 2019
No Prerequisites
11 participants
Registration opens Aug 26
Tacoma Branch

BC Field Trip #3: Snow Travel - Paradise

Climbing Field trip: Basic Climbing Course
Olympia Basic Climbing Course - Snow Travel
Difficulty: Easy, Easy/Moderate
Sat, Mar 21, 2020
No Prerequisites
45 participants 14 instructors
Registration opens Aug 1; Instructor registration open now
Olympia Branch

BC Field Trip #4: Snow Weekend - Paradise

Climbing Field trip: Basic Climbing Course
Olympia Basic Climbing Course - Snow Weekend
Difficulty: Easy, Easy/Moderate
Sat, Apr 25, 2020 - Sun, Apr 26, 2020
Prerequisites
45 participants 14 instructors
Registration opens Aug 1; Instructor registration open now
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
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