- Mount Rainier National Park encompasses 378 square miles on and around Mount Rainier in central Washington. The highlight of the park is the largest single-peak glacial system in the United States, that radiates from the summit and slopes of the ancient volcano. This peak supports dense forests and subalpine flowered meadows on its flanks.
Copyright: National Park Service
Mount Rainier National Park
Recreation - Mount Rainier National Park offers a wide variety of recreational and educational activities, from easy guided walks with park rangers to mountain climbing and scenic driving. Backpacking and photography are also popular summer activities, while winter offers winter camping, tubing, cross country skiing and snowshoeing opportunities.
Four visitor centers in the park provide information and permits needed for further activity at park facilities. Information centers are located at Longmire Museum, Henry M. Jackson Memorial Visitor Center, Ohanapecosh Visitor Center and Sunrise Visitor Center. In the summer, park rangers conduct interpretive nature programs, evening programs at campgrounds, children's' programs and guided walks park wide. In the winter, guided snowshoe walks are conducted in the Paradise area. Further information about these programs is available at the visitor centers.
The park contains over 240 miles of trails, that are generally accessible by mid late June or early July. The road from the Nisqually Entrance to Paradise (SW entrance) is open year round (daylight hours only in winter), although snow or avalanche conditions may cause temporary closures. Several other roads throughout the park are open during the summer months only. During the winter, vehicles should be equipped with all season tires and carry tire chains, in case of inclement weather.
Six campgrounds provide approximately 600 individual and five group sites throughout the park. Each campground varies in facilities, accessibility, elevation and site availability. There is a 14-day camping limit in all campgrounds during July and August. Reservations are required at the Cougar Rock and Ohanapecosh Campgrounds between June 28 and Labor Day and can be made in advance through the National Park Reservation Service. No utility hookups are available in campgrounds. All other campsites are on a first-come, first-served basis
Hikers and Backpackers have a wide range of opportunities within the park. The hiking season normally extends from early July through early October, when the high country should be relatively free of snow. Trails at lower elevations may open earlier and remain open longer.
Mountain climbing is popular on Mt. Rainier and the park provides challenging terrain for climbers who are fit, experienced in glacier travel and well equipped. Registration prior to climbing is required.
Climate - July and August in Washington are generally sunny and mild, with the chance of showers. The rest of the year is usually quite rainy, with heavy snowfall from November through April. Rain gear is recommended year round.
The park is located in west-central Washington, approximately two hours from Seattle. It lies within the Cascade Mountains and is surrounded by the Mt. Baker-Snoqualmie National Forest.