Established in 1899. 235,625
acres (97% is designated Wilderness). Includes Mount Rainier (14,410'), an
active volcano encased in over 35 square miles of snow and ice. The park
contains outstanding examples of old growth forests and subalpine meadows.
Designated a National Historic Landmark District
in 1997 as a showcase for the "NPS Rustic" style architecture of the 1920s
Whether hiking on its flanks, climbing its summit,
snowshoeing or cross-country skiing on its slopes, camping along its
glacier-fed rivers, photographing wildflower displays in subalpine
meadows, or just admiring the view, nearly two million people come to
enjoy the grandeur and beauty of Mount Rainier each year.
Mount Rainier National Park is open all year, but
access is limited in winter.
Facilities at Longmire are open daily year-round.
Facilities at Paradise and Ohanapecosh are open daily from late-May to
mid-October. Facilities at Sunrise are open July to early-October.
In winter, access is by the Nisqually Entrance in
the southwest corner of the park only. The Jackson Visitor Center at
Paradise is open weekends and holidays in winter.
Most visitors come on sunny summer weekends and
holidays. Try to schedule your visit mid-week in summer, if possible,
since parking is limited in many areas of the park.
Mount Rainier National Park offers excellent
opportunities for scenic drives, hiking, and mountain climbing. Most roads
are open from late May to early October--all provide stunning views and
access to a variety of hiking trails and other sites.
While many visitors attempt to "see the park in
day," you may wish to concentrate on one or two areas of the park and
explore them in detail. Keep in mind that parking is limited on sunny
summer weekends and holidays.
Possibilities: Explore the Longmire Historic
District in the SW corner of the park. On the road from Longmire and
Paradise, see Christine Falls or Narada Falls. At Paradise, see the
Jackson Visitor Center, the Historic Paradise Inn, or hike a trail through
the world-famous subalpine meadows. Between Paradise and Ohanapecosh, see
Reflection Lakes, Box Canyon, or the Grove of the Patriarchs. Explore old
growth forest at Ohanpecosh. Between Ohanapecosh and White River, consider
a short sidetrip east to Tipsoo Lake. Sunrise is a popular destination
from July to October. It provides outstanding views of Mount Rainier and
its glaciers, and trails through subalpine meadows. In the NE corner of
the park, see the Carbon River rainforest and/or Mowich Lake (note: road
to Mowich Lake is unpaved and does not open until early July).