Mount Rainier National Park Travel Guide

  • Things to Do
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  • A Few Blooms Linger on in October
    A Few Blooms Linger on in October
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  • "Old Man of the Mountain" plus Late...
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Mount Rainier National Park Things to Do

  • Inspiration Point (Stevens Canyon Road)

    Paradise Road joins the main road through the southern edge of the park in Stevens Canyon and a place near Narada Falls on the Paradise River. Just slightly south of this road intersection is a popular viewpoint that is named Inspiration Point.Naturally, the main attraction here is Mount Rainier.However, don't let the views of the various canyons...

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  • Sunrise Area Trails: Sunrise Ridge Trail

    Please remember that the alpine meadows in this area are extremely sensitive, and take decades to recover if they are walked on. The plants at this elevation are extremely fragile.This trail is approximately 2 miles / 3.2 km in length, and runs from the Sunrise Visitor's Center to the Sunrise Point Parking Area. There is a short, steep section from...

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  • Clover Lake: Sensitive Alpine Lake

    As with the other areas at high altitude around Mount Rainier, please be careful to not step on plant life and stay on trails, as it can take decades for the plant life around the lake to recover from being walked on.There are a couple of logs that are popular places for people to sit.This is also a high mosquito area during the warm months and you...

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Mount Rainier National Park Hotels

  • Hotel Packwood

    104 Main Street, Packwood, Washington, 98361, United States

    Satisfaction: Excellent

    Good for: Solo

  • Alta Crystal Resort at Mount Rainier

    68317 Wash. 410 E, , Washington, 98022, United States

    Satisfaction: Very Good

    Good for: Business

  • Cowlitz River Lodge

    13069 U.S. 12, P.O. Box 488, Packwood, Washington, United States

    Satisfaction: Very Good

    Good for: Couples

Mount Rainier National Park Restaurants

  • Himalayan Themed Restaurant at Ashford

    During the summer months, this is another popular restaurant at the Ashford area / Nisqually entrance. The general theme is Himalayan cuisine, but there is also American fare offered as well. Generally this is a more expensive restaurant for the serving size than the Copper Creek Inn. There are more economical items offered, but not very many of...

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  • A Vastly Popular Place for Good Reason

    Actually located in Ashford (just outside the Nisqually Entrance) this is one of the most popular places to go for food and drink after a visit to the southern or western edge of the park. The only two complaints likely with this place is that during peak season it may be hard to find a place to park (people make do with several wide spots in the...

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  • Where to Eat

    Restaurant or snack bar service is available at the Paradise Inn, National Park Inn, and Sunrise Day Lodge. There are also a variety of dining options in nearby towns.

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Mount Rainier National Park Nightlife

  • richiecdisc's Profile Photo

    by richiecdisc Written Nov 4, 2009

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    As with most National Parks, nightlife is pretty slim. There are bars in the Lodges and certainly if you are celebrating something or just want to unwind, they are nice enough places to go. But when you come all this way and are in the presence of such incredible natural beauty, you should take full advantage of it. Sunsets on the mountains are amazing things and sunrises perhaps even more so. You need to get yourself into position to fully appreciate these wonderful things and that generally involves getting out of bed (or your sleeping bag) early. The pictures will be well worth it and you will remember it far longer than that sleep in too. ;)

    Dress Code: Dress warmly for both sunrise and sunset in the mountains. It's chilly even in summer at high elevation.

    the top of Rainier aglow at sunrise Mt. Adams at sunset from Shriner Peak
    Related to:
    • Romantic Travel and Honeymoons
    • Hiking and Walking
    • Photography

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Mount Rainier National Park Transportation

  • Check for Road Closures and Basic...

    Some basic things about getting around inside Mount Rainier National Park:Entrance Fee: $15 for a vehicle for 7 days. Or, if entering on foot, bicycle, horseback, motorcycle, etc. $5.Suggested Route: Despite what your GPS or other advisor may say, from Seattle I highly suggest taking Interstate 5 through Tacoma to Highway 512, then east to State...

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  • Privately Run Tours to the Mountain

    As stated in a previous tip, public transport services are quite far from Mount Rainier National Park. However, several companies operate bus, taxi or van service and/or commercial tours to the park from spring to fall. (If you try to come in winter, then you are on your own!) I have never used any of these companies, but this is to let you know...

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  • To and Around the Park

    There are commercial tours available of Mount Rainier National Park; but I prefer having my own car. That way I can go where I want when I want and stay as long or short of a time as I wish. The nearest airport is probably SEATAC International Airport about 100 miles away.

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Mount Rainier National Park Shopping

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    by richiecdisc Written Nov 4, 2009

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    The drive to Mount Rainier National Park is surprisingly flat. It also quite fertile and is a prime growing area in the state of Washington. I guess it has something to do with the volcanic soil. At any rate, you can pick up some very nice produce on your way into the park and if you are camping it's a good idea. Small farm stands dot the road leading to the park. Stop in and help the local economy and your own as well. You'll find produce at a fraction of supermarket prices!

    What to buy: Cherries are one thing that the state of Washington is well known for and it was prime time with everyone selling them. They were great quality and super cheap at $2 a pound.

    no, cherries don't grow wild in Mount Rainier
    Related to:
    • Photography
    • Road Trip
    • Budget Travel

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Mount Rainier National Park Local Customs

  • richiecdisc's Profile Photo

    by richiecdisc Written Nov 4, 2009

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    Though Mount Rainier National Park is not noted as a big bear park, this is a wilderness area that is home to black bears. Though not as troublesome as at parks like Yosemite, you still need to practice food storage tactics to protect not only your food but also the bears. Luckily, this is not as extreme as it is in Yosemite where you have to take all food out of your vehicle even if just at the visitor center. The bears are not in the habit of breaking into cars but the way to keep that the case is to never feed a bear. Feeding a bear also means leaving food around for bears to eat.

    You must be especially careful in the backcountry. Never keep any food or odorous items in your tent. Use whatever food storage means provided by the park. At Shriner Peak Campground, there was a pole that you hung your food from. You used a separate pole to place your pack or food storage bag up there. These poles were pretty heavy so it wasn't as easy as it initially looked!

    keeping food away from bears is your responsiblity
    Related to:
    • Hiking and Walking
    • Backpacking
    • National/State Park

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Mount Rainier National Park Warnings and Dangers

  • Very Heavy Traffic and Crowds on...

    During the summer months, cruise ships headed for Alaska attract great gobs of tourists to Seattle, and of course being a national park nearby there is a lot of traffic from Seattle to Mount Rainier National Park anyway. So, it should be no surprise to anyone that there are a lot of people here on the weekends. Where the crowds go is hard to...

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  • Obey the Warning Signs

    This is a very rugged and desolate area. Emergency response will be difficult and require some time. There are a lot of steep drops with questionable footing so stay away from the edge. This is also bear country so always be on the lookout for bears and other wildlife. Do not feed the wildlife. Be extra careful crossing streams and creeks. Stay...

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  • There are Bears in the Park, Plus other...

    Yes, in fact there are bears in the park, and the chances of seeing one are very slim. They are very shy of people, unlike their relatives in other national parks. Typically, they will be doing what you see here: running away from you, or your car, or any other artificial sound that is strange to them.You will also run into foxes, which will also...

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Mount Rainier National Park Tourist Traps

  • DM_PDX's Profile Photo

    by DM_PDX Written Sep 28, 2002

    Where everyone goes so extremely crowded. Skip the observation tower, take a short hike, and get the real mountain experience in the outdoors.

    Unique Suggestions: Park, hike and don't look back.

    Fun Alternatives: Sunrise Visitor Center has similar amenities, but is a little less crowded.

    View from Paradise

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Mount Rainier National Park What to Pack

  • stay warm, stay dry

    With the 93 mile Wonderland Trail encircling Mount Rainier, this is one place to bring your backpack but there are many shorter hikes that a day pack will suffice for. Sturdy hiking boots and warm cushioned socks will keep your feet happy. Dress in synthetic layers to keep yourself warm and adaptable to the ever changing weather around The...

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  • Dress for everything

    The mountain makes its own weather and the Paradise side is ranier than the Sunrise side, so be prepared for anything. A summer day can begin cool and cloudy and warm up quickly. Rain is always possible, so dress in layers and bring raingear.

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  • Mount Rainier National Park Hotels

    7 Hotels in Mount Rainier National Park

    5 Reviews

Mount Rainier National Park Off The Beaten Path

  • Longmire History Transportation Display...

    The primary museum that shows the history of Mount Rainier National Park at Longmire is in one building, but the building that emphasizes the transportation aspects of getting to and around in the park is located a little down the hill where the now unused fueling station is set up as a small transportation display.The sign out front that says...

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  • Ex-Nihilo Sculpture Park

    On the highway just east of Elbe you will see a large metal giraffe hanging over the highway. Most visitors to the area will simply go flying past this and only briefly wonder what is going on. Creation of giant sculptures from found objects is what is going on. I have already written a bit about this sculpture park in my Elbe page, but most people...

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  • Nisqually Suspension Bridge (Longmire...

    Located past the community of cabins that serve as the homes of National Park staff, this bridge features a view of the Nisqually River and Mt. Rainier. The bridge is used to access the Eagle Creek trail, but other than this there isn't too much on the other side that the public would be interested in visiting.The bridge was originally built in the...

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Mount Rainier National Park Sports & Outdoors

  • Nisqually Vista Trail

    The trailhead for the Nisqually Vista Trail is located in Paradise. This trail is a 1.2 mile loop with interpretive signs. It leads through very beautiful meadows of wildflowers to a view of Nisqually Glacier (except when it is real cloudy and foggy like the day I was last there). The flowers were still pretty and colorful. Good Hiking Shoes,...

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  • Wonderland Trail

    The Wonderland Trail circles through the park and is a total of 93 mile in length. It connects with many of the other trails in the park, so you can access it in many different locations. Good Hiking Shoes, water, a snack, sunscreen, and a hat

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  • Box Canyon Trail

    This is a short, paved, interpretive trail that leads to the very narrow, 115 foot deep Box Canyon. Nice views and interesting canyon. Much of this trail is accessible. Good Hiking Shoes, water, sunscreen, and a hat

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Mount Rainier National Park Favorites

  • Mount Rainier National Park

    Mount Rainier is a great park and well worth a visit. I had been here several times but it was not until my visit in 2010 that I really documented my visit with photos.Mount Rainier National Park preserves a vast mountain wonderland with a wide variety of plant and animal life for you to enjoy. The best place to start is at one of the visitors...

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  • the area's "home" mountain

    The sight of Mount Rainier from close-up or afar is breathtaking. No visit to the Pacific Northwest is complete without seeing it. Mountains are rarely measured by height alone. Just because a peak is 20,000 feet does not guarantee awe and fame. Much of this depends on where it is. Proximity can work both ways. Being close to a highly populated...

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  • in its own special way

    A half hour later, I pulled out our camp stove and made up a hot chocolate for my very understanding wife who had sat patiently in the cold, enjoying her admittedly beautiful view. We still had to carry all our gear up Shriner Peak later that afternoon but for now Rainier was our companion as we sipped our hot beverages. The hike would prove a...

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Explore Deeper into Mount Rainier National Park
Sunrise Point to Clover Lake
Things to Do
Sunrise Point: Popular Parking on Sunrise Ridge
Things to Do
Longmire: History and Trailheads
Things to Do
Sunrise Area: Sunrise Ridge Trail
Things to Do
Sunrise Area: Dege Peak (7010 ft / 2135 m)
Things to Do
Sunrise Trailhead and Visitor's Center
Things to Do
Beautiful Tipsoo Lake
Things to Do
Don't miss the gorgeous views
Things to Do
Center of Activities - Paradise
Things to Do
A short stop at the Narada Falls
Things to Do
Beautiful Reflection Lake
Things to Do
Nisqually Vista Trail
Things to Do
Paradise Area: The Basics
Things to Do
Wildflowers and Plants in October
Off The Beaten Path
Paradise Area: Myrtle Falls
Things to Do
Martha Falls
Off The Beaten Path
Box Canyon
Things to Do
Sourdough Ridge Trail
Sports & Outdoors
Palisades Trail
Sports & Outdoors
Grove of the Patriarchs trail
Sports & Outdoors
Summerland Trail
Sports & Outdoors
Owyhigh Lakes Trail
Sports & Outdoors
Stevens Canyon Hiking Trails
Things to Do
Longmire Museum
Things to Do
Historic Longmire
Things to Do
Narada Falls
Things to Do
Guide Service/Climbing Info
Things to Do
Museum
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Paradise Visitors Center
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Historic Paradise
Things to Do
Mid-Mountain Forest
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The Castle
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Reflection Lakes
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Louise Lake
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Stevens Peak
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Martha Falls
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Stevens Creek
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Box Canyon
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Silver Falls
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Falls Creek
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Map of Mount Rainier National Park

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