• Mount Rainier peeks through clouds, viewed across subalpine wildflowers and glacial moraine.

    Mount Rainier

    National Park Washington

Day Hiking at Mount Rainier

Hiker on the Skyline Trail

Mount Rainier National Park offers over 260 miles of maintained trails for your enjoyment. Trails lead through the peacefulness of the old-growth forest of the river valleys and the high subalpine meadows on the flanks of Mount Rainier. From the trails you can explore and experience the forests, lakes, and streams and view the fields of wildflowers and network of glaciers. Pets and bicycles are not permitted on any park trails.

The park recommends that day hikers limit their party size to no more than 12 people per group. Day hikers are also encouraged to stay on designated trails throughout the park, and are required to do so in the heavily used Paradise, Sunrise, and Tipsoo Lake meadows. Please choose a spot for a lunch stop carefully. Avoid fragile flower fields and stream and lake banks.

Day hikers are advised to keep hiking plans flexible because some trailhead parking lots may be full. Overflow parking is not permitted in order to avoid impeding traffic and to provide a less crowded, higher quality experience for hikers. Alternative trailheads may have space available.

For more information on day hiking, see Trails and Backcountry Camp Conditions. For descriptions of longer day hikes, overnight or multi-day hikes, visit the Trails page.

If you're looking for easy and enjoyable trails that the whole family can experience together, see the trails listed below.

 

While enjoying the park, please do not feed the wildlife.
Feeding wildlife invites aggressive animal behavior and increases vehicle collisions which may injure people and commonly results in wildlife death. Feeding birds artificially concentrates nest predators, harming young songbirds. Learn more about Keeping Wildlife Wild.

 
Don't-step-on-the-flowers boot graphic.

Suggested Day Hikes
Looking for easy and enjoyable trails that the whole family can experience together? Consider the following trails in the Longmire, Paradise, Ohanapecosh, Sunrise, and Carbon/Mowich areas of Mount Rainier National Park. The hikes described below range from short strolls to longer trails through the wilderness. For your safety, never hike alone, carry (and know how to use) the Ten Essentials, and tell someone your plans. To preserve the trails at Mount Rainier, stay on designated trails throughout the park. In the heavily used Paradise, Sunrise, and Tipsoo Lake meadows hikers are required to stay on trails. All hikers are asked to avoid fragile flower fields, lake shores and stream banks.

LONGMIRE AREA DAY HIKES

Trail

Description of Hike

Trailhead
Location

Distance

Estimated Round Trip Hiking Time

Trail of the Shadows

Human and natural history come together in the forest and meadows of Longmire. You'll see a replica of an early homestead cabin and discover the plants and animals that call this area their home.

Across the road from the National Park Inn at Longmire

0.7 miles,
loop trail

20 minute

Twin Firs Loop Trail

This short trail passes through old growth forest.

2 miles west of Longmire

0.4 miles,
loop trail

20 minutes

Rampart Ridge Trail

This steep loop trail passes through forests and offers ridge top vistas.

Follow the Trail of the Shadows, located across the road from the National Park Inn at Longmire, to the trail junction.

4.6 miles,
loop trail

2.5 hours

Paradise Day Hikes

Trail

Description of Hike

Trailhead
Location

Distance

Estimated Round Trip Hiking Time

Nisqually Vista Trail

Walk amidst the clouds and see how weather shapes the landscape, plants, and animals of these high-country meadows. Enjoy excellent views of Mount Rainier and the Nisqually Glacier.

West end of the lower parking lot.

1.2 miles,
loop trail

45 minutes

Bench & Snow Lakes Trail

Enjoy two lakes along this one trail. In summer, this area is an excellent place to see bear grass and meadow flowers. The trail is a succession of gradual ups and downs crossing low ridges, reaching Bench Lake after 0.75 mile, then continuing another 0.5 mile to Snow Lake.

Stevens Canyon Road, 1.5 miles east of Reflection Lakes

2.5 miles roundtrip

2 hours

Ohanapecosh Day Hikes

Trail

Description of Hike

Trailhead
Location

Distance

Estimated Round Trip Hiking Time

Life Systems Trail - The Forests & Springs of Ohanapecosh

The quiet green forests of Mount Rainier offer a shady contrast to the windswept high country of the park. Walk under towering Douglas firs & hemlocks to the bubbling waters of the Ohanapecosh Hot Springs.

Ohanapecosh Campground, behind visitor center

0.5 mile,
loop trail

30 minutes

Silver Falls Trail

The Ohanapecosh River falls majestically 75 feet in a silver spray. Stay on the trail and behind safety barriers. Rocks are wet and slippery.

Loop B of the Ohanapecosh Campground

3 miles roundtrip

Walk the trail as a loop by crossing the river on the bridge below the falls and return to the campground on the other side of the river.

2 hours

Grove of the Patriarchs Trail

The Ohanapecosh River surrounds an island of towering, thousand-year-old Douglas fir and western red cedar trees. Walk the trail to discover the grandeur and peace of this island.

Just west of the Stevens Canyon Entrance Station

1.3 miles,
loop trail


1 hour

Sunrise Day Hikes

Trail

Description of Hike

Trailhead
Location

Distance

Estimated Round Trip Hiking Time

Shadow Lakes Trail

This trail offers views of the White River Valley, Mount Rainier and access to Shadow Lake. Return to Sunrise via the steeper trail to Frozen Lake and Sourdough Ridge or follow the old roadway back to Sunrise.

Sunrise parking area

3 miles roundtrip

1.5 hours

Dege Peak via Sourdough Ridge Trail

Enjoy the beautiful subalpine meadows of the Sunrise area. A gentle climb to the ridge top offers breathtaking views of Mount Rainier, with Mount Baker, Glacier Peak, and Mount Adams in the distance. Stay on trail to protect fragile plants.

North side of Sunrise parking area

3.4 miles roundtrip

2 hours

Naches Peak Loop Trail

Explore the subalpine flower fields and breathtaking views of Mount Rainier. Late summer and fall brings an abundant supply of huckleberries. Half of the hike is on the Pacific Crest National Scenic Trail. Pets are not permitted on the west half of the loop trail, which is inside Mount Rainier National Park.

Chinook Pass/Tipsoo Lake

3.5 miles roundtrip

2 hours

Glacier Basin Trail

In summer, the meadows of the basin are a rainbow of wild flowers. Watch for mountain goats on the surrounding slopes and mountain climbers ascending the Inter Glacier to Camp Schurman. After the first mile, a ½ mile spur trail leads along the Emmons Moraine to a view of the Emmons Glacier, the largest glacier in the lower 48 states. Stay on designated trails to protect fragile plants.

White River Campground

7 miles

4 hours

Carbon/Mowich Day Hikes

Trail

Description of Hike

Trailhead
Location

Distance

Estimated Round Trip Hiking Time

Carbon River Rain Forest Nature Trail

Rain forests seldom occur far from coastal areas, making the forest that grows in this valley unique. Use this trail to explore the only true inland rain forest at Mount Rainier.

Carbon River entrance of Mount Rainier National Park

0.3 miles,
loop trail

20 minutes

Chenuis Falls Trail

Hike this trail to view Chenius Falls. Trail requires crossing the Carbon River on foot logs.

Hike the Carbon River Road (3.5 miles) to short Chenuis Falls Trail (0.2 mile).

7.4 miles roundtrip

2.5 hours

Green Lake Trail

Trail passes through old growth forest to reach Green Lake. Along the trail, view Ranger Falls.

Hike the Carbon River Road (3.6 miles) to Green Lake Trail (1.8 miles).

10.8 miles roundtrip

4 hours

Tolmie Peak Trail

Trail passes through the forest to Eunice Lake, then climbs to the Tolmie Peak fire lookout for views of Mount Rainier and the surrounding areas. Please stay on the trail to avoid damaging the meadows surrounding the lake.

Mowich Lake

6.5 miles roundtrip

4 hours

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