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 - Updated July 1, 2015
Summer ranger programs are generally offered late June-September. Programs July 1 - September 7, unless stated otherwise.

Program Days & Times
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.
10:30 am
daily
A Mountain in Motion
Explore how Mount Rainier has changed over the centuries. Meet at the large flagpole outside of the visitor center. 60-75 minutes with the ranger. Return time on your own. 1.5 miles round-trip.
2:00 pm
daily
Junior Ranger Program
Join a ranger or volunteer for fun and educational activities to earn 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.
1:00 pm
daily
Paradise Inn Ranger Chat
Join a knowledgeable ranger to plan your day. Look for a ranger inside the lobby of the Paradise Inn. 25 minutes.

9:30 am
Mon, Wed-Sun

Paradise Inn Lobby Talk
Join a ranger and discover the fascinating stories of the Paradise area and the Paradise Inn. Look for a ranger inside the lobby of the Inn. 30 minutes.

2:30 pm
Mon, Wed-Sun

Astronomy Program
Observe the heavens from the slopes of Mount Rainier. Check for start times at the visitor center or call the astronomy hotline at 360-569-6230. 2 hours.
9:45 pm - 11:45 pm
daily, weather permitting
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.
8:45 pm
daily
Special Programs
Check at bulletin boards, visitor centers, or Inns for schedule.
 

Longmire/Cougar Rock Campground - SUMMER
Summer ranger programs are July 1 - September 7.

Program Days & Times
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.
6:30 pm
daily
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.
8:30 pm
daily
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.
10:00 am
Sat-Sun
 

Sunrise/White River Campground - SUMMER
Summer ranger programs are July 1 - September 7.

Program Days & Times
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.
10:00 am
Fri-Sun
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.
1:00 pm & 3:00 pm
daily
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.
7:30 pm
Mon, Wed, Fri-Sat
 

Ohanapecosh - SUMMER
Summer ranger programs are July 1 - September 7.

Program Days & Times
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.
10:00 am
Tues-Sun
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.
July 1 - 25
9:00 pm Tues, Fri-Sat

July 26 - September 6
8:00 pm Tues, Fri-Sat

 

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.

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.
Finished for the 2014-2015 season. Check back next winter! 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.
Finished for the 2014-2015 season. Check back next winter!
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.

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