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

    Mount Rainier

    National Park Washington

Ranger-led Programs

Early ranger leading campfire program

An early ranger leading a campfire program.

NPS Photo

Since the early days of the National Park Service, rangers have shared their knowledge through the presentation of interpretive programs--guided walks, talks, and campfire programs for visitors of all ages. Today, that long-standing tradition continues.

Please join the Mount Rainier interpretive staff for a variety of free programs, ranging from informal talks at park visitor centers to junior ranger programs for kids to evening campfire programs. Topics vary from day to day, and may include geology, wildlife, ecology, mountaineering, or park history. Most programs are available from late-June until Labor Day. Schedules are posted throughout the park, as well as in the park newspaper. Details and short descriptions of some evening programs are also available in the calender of events.

 
Find the program to fit your visit
Most ranger-led programs are offered in the summer months, typically July-September, in locations throughout the park. However, guided snowshoe walks and other programs are offered in the winter at Paradise.

Paradise - Summer
Paradise - Winter
Longmire/Cougar Rock Campground

Sunrise/White River Campground
Ohanapecosh


 
 

Paradise - WINTER
Winter programs depend on snow conditions and can change unexpectedly due to weather. The Longmire-Paradise road closes nightly during the winter so make sure to check the road status before heading out. Winter ranger programs are generally offered late December-March on weekends and holidays.

Snowplay/Sledding
Sledding and sliding are permitted only in the designated snow play area at Paradise. At least five feet of snowpack is required to protect the meadow vegetation before the snow play area can be opened. Update 12/4/14: Snowplay is CLOSED. It generally opens for the season late December or early January depending on snow conditions. Learn more about winter recreation in the park.

Program Dates Times
Guided Snowshoe Walks - First-come, First-served
Join a park ranger to learn the art of snowshoeing and discover how plants, animals, and people adapt to the challenging winter conditions at Mount Rainier. Meet inside the Jackson Visitor Center near the Information Desk. Sign-ups begin one hour in advance of scheduled time; all snowshoe walk participants must be present at sign-up. 2 hours/1.8 miles. Limit 25 people.
Begins Dec 24, 2014 - weekends & holidays only

Offered daily during Winter Break, Dec 24 -Jan 1

11:00 a.m, 1:30 p.m.
Guided Snowshoe Walks - Organized Groups
Join a park ranger to learn the art of snowshoeing and discover how plants, animals, and people adapt to the challenging winter conditions at Mount Rainier. Meet inside the Jackson Visitor Center near the Information Desk. 2 hours/1.8 miles. Group size 10-25 people, by reservation only. To make a reservation call (360) 569-6575 between 9:30 am-4:00pm, or visit the Longmire Information Center or Jackson Visitor Center.
Begins Jan 3, 2015 - weekends & holidays only
2:00 p.m.

NOTE:
  • Snowshoes for ranger-led walks are provided by the park. A $5.00 donation from each snowshoe walk participant helps the park provide snowshoe walks, and repair and replace snowshoes.
  • Don't forget sunscreen, sunglasses, layers of warm cloths, hats, mittens, and suitable boots. You will sink into the snow even with snowshoes on.
  • The park also offers snowshoe walks to school groups by reservation only. Call (360) 569-6592 for school group reservations.
 

Paradise - SUMMER - Check back summer 2015 for updates
Summer ranger programs are generally offered late June-September.

Program SUN MON TUE WED THU FRI SAT
Paradise Ranger Chat
Start your day with coffee and a ranger. Join a knowledgeable ranger to find your perfect hiking route or discover the long history of the Paradise Area. Look for the ranger inside the lobby of the Inn. Beverages available at the Tatoosh Café. 25 minutes.
Subalpine Saunter
Discover the ecology of the Paradise Area. Meet the ranger at the flagpole in front of the visitor center. 60-75 minutes with the ranger. Return time on your own. 1 mile round-trip.
Nisqually Vista Walk
Walk to a view of a glacier and explore the geology of Mount Rainier. Meet at the large flagpole outside the visitor center. 75-90 minutes with the ranger. Return time on your own. 1.5 miles round-trip.
Junior Ranger Program
Join a ranger or volunteer for fun and educational activities to ear your Junior Ranger Patch! Ages six to eleven, parents must remain with their Junior Rangers. Meet inside the visitor center at the front desk. 30-45 minutes.
Paradise Inn Lobby Talk
Join a ranger to learn the "inns and outs" of the historic Paradise Inn. Look for a ranger inside the Paradise Inn. 30 minutes.
Evening Stroll
Stroll around this historic area with a ranger or volunteer to explore the nature and/or history of this place called Paradise. Look for the ranger outside the Paradise Inn entrance. 30 minutes. 1 mile round-trip.
Paradise Inn Evening Program
Take a seat in the lobby of the Paradise Inn and enjoy an evening presentation with a park ranger or one of the guest speakers. Topics vary. Inquire at the Jackson Visitor Center or at the Paradise Inn front desk for program descriptions. 45 minutes.
Special Programs
Check at bulletin boards, visitor centers, or Inns for schedule.
 

Longmire/Cougar Rock Campground - SUMMER - Check back summer 2015 for updates
Summer ranger programs are generally offered late June-September.

Program SUN MON TUE WED THU FRI SAT
Junior Ranger Program
Join a ranger or volunteer for fun and educational activities to earn your Junior Ranger Patch! Ages six to eleven. Meet at the Cougar Rock Campground Amphitheater. Parking at the campground is limited. If you attend the program but are not camping, please park in the Cougar Rock Picnic Area across the park road from the campground. 30-45 minutes.
Evening Program
Join a ranger or volunteer for a program that involves, inspires, and explores! Topics vary nightly. Meet at the Cougar Rock Campground Amphitheater. Parking at the campground is limited. If you attend the program but are not camping, please park in the Cougar Rock Picnic Area across the park road from the campground. 45 minutes.
Take a HIKE! With a Ranger
Experience the forest along the Paradise River en route to Carter Falls. Meet at the Carter Falls Trailhead 2.1 miles east of Longmire, just east of the Cougar Rock Campground. Bring water, a hat, and sturdy shoes. 2 hours with ranger. Return on your own. 2 miles.
 

Sunrise/White River Campground - SUMMER - Check back summer 2015 for updates
Summer ranger programs are generally offered July-September.

Program SUN MON TUE WED THU FRI SAT
Junior Ranger Program
Children ages six to eleven are invited to join park staff for a fun activity about the mountain, glaciers, habitats, and more. Meet at the White River Campfire Circle. 1 hour.
Sunrise Afternoon Guided Walk
Learn about the natural and cultural history of the Sunrise area on this easy ramble with a ranger. Meet at the Sunrise Visitor Center flagpole. The trail is not wheelchair accessible. 45 minutes.
Evening Program
Take an in-depth look at a special topic of Mount Rainier National Park during a traditional campfire talk. Meet at the campfire circle in the White River Campground. 45-60 minutes.
 

Ohanapecosh - SUMMER - Check back summer 2015 for updates
Summer ranger programs are generally offered July-September.

Program SUN MON TUE WED THU FRI SAT
Junior Ranger Program
Ages six to eleven. Join a ranger or volunteer for fun and educational activities! Meet at the Ohanapecosh Visitor Center. 1 hour.
Evening Program
Join a ranger or volunteer for a program that involves, inspires, and explores! Topics vary nightly. Meet at the Ohanapecosh Campground Amphitheater. 45 minutes.

Did You Know?