MOUNT RAINIER NATIONAL PARK
5TH US NATIONAL PARK (ESTABLISHED IN 1899)5TH
ELEVATION OF PEAK14,411 FEET
PRESERVED AS PROTECTED WILDERNESS97% OF PARK
Mount Rainier National Park is located in west central Washington. The mountain is iconic as the peak is visible throughout much of western Washington. Mount Rainier rises to 14,411 feet, making it the tallest peak in the state. Mount Rainier has unreal views from various hiking trails that take visitors to waterfalls and fields of wildflowers. Of course, the mountain is also one of the most potentially-dangerous active volcanoes in the country… you know, so there’s that.
  • PARADISE

    On the southwest side of the park sits aptly-named Paradise. The visitor area is a perfect showpiece for the park. Paradise has lodging, a cafeteria, and access to many hiking trails. Make sure to see Narada Falls, which are stunning waterfalls just a short walk from the main road.

  • SUNRISE

    Another good visitor location is Sunrise. The area blossoms with wildflowers in the summer. Sunrise is the highest point accessible by vehicle and the second most visited part of the park (behind Paradise).

  • SKYLINE TRAIL

    One of the most popular hikes is this 5-miler that gains over 1,400 feet in elevation. You’ll be able to see St. Helens and Mount Hood from the trail. The views are incredible. Make sure to plan appropriately as the trail can get a lot of snow in the colder months.

  • CRYSTAL MOUNTAIN RESORT

    Crystal Mountain is a major ski area (for Washington anyway) in the area. It gets a ton of snow, and is obviously most popular to visit in the winter. Don’t overlook Crystal Mountain during the summer. You can take a gondola up the mountain for phenomenal views of Mount Rainier.

THE WEATHER
  • Mount Rainier gets a ton of snow... about 700 inches per year. Winter is good for skiing and snowshoeing.

  • The park isn't ready for somewhat consistent hiking until May or June. July and August are peak tourist months, so June can be a good month to visit if you are trying to avoid the crowds. Weather can still be unpredictable.

  • Summer is packed with tourists, especially in July and August. The weather is perfect for exploring the park. Highs are in the 60s and 70s, and it is the dry season.

  • September can be a great month to visit as tourism dies down but the weather is still great. Any later in the year, and the weather can get very unpredictable.