Discover Wildflowers

Penstemon growing along the road to Sunrise.

Penstemon wildflowers growing along the road to Sunrise.

NPS Photo

 

Mount Rainer's renowned wildflowers bloom for a limited amount of time every year. The "peak" bloom for wildflowers is heavily dependent on weather and precipitation patterns, so accurate predictions are difficult. In most years, many flowers will be blooming by mid-July, and by the first of August the meadows should be very impressive. Frost can occur by late August, but even after light frosts the meadows continue to be very beautiful, thanks to changing leaf colors and seed pod development that take the place of colorful blossoms.

For a better idea of what the wildflowers are doing this year, please see the Currently Blooming section below, which summarizes what's blooming where.

Explore further:

  • Wildflower Guide - Unfamiliar with Mount Rainier's wildflowers? Photos and brief descriptions of some of the common wildflower species can be found in the park's online wildflower guide.
  • Subalpine and Forest wildflower photo galleries
  • Wildflower video gallery - Preview Mount Rainier's blooming wildflower meadows by watching these short clips.

A tiny violet flowers amongst the moss, next to a large, rounded rock.

Roundleaf Violet (Viola orbiculata), blooming in abundance throughout the Longmire area. Photo taken April 22, 2015.

NPS Photo

Currently Blooming - April 23, 2015

An extremely low snow year and generally mild winter is bringing the wildflowers out much earlier than usual. Most lower elevation areas are melted out. A few spring storms have brought snow, but it has melted quickly and not affected the early start to the wildflower season.

Yellow violets in particular are out in force this week. The violet featured in this week's photo is Roundleaf Violet (Viola orbiculata), which blooms earlier than Evergreen violet (V. sempervirens) and Stream Violet (V. glabella), though all of them are near-identical in appearance. They are so similar in appearance that in wildflower reports we simply list them as "yellow violets".

Wildflower Reports
  • Longmire (4/23): early to peak - skunk cabbage, coltsfoot, calypso orchid, yellow violets; expect similar wildflower conditions in most low-elevation, forested areas in the park.
 

Mountain Bog Gentian

Mountain Bog Gentian

NPS Photo

Wildflower Photos
The photos featured here are usually taken by park staff and volunteers from all over the park. Share your own wildflower photos in the Mount Rainier Flickr group! Higher resolution versions of wildflower photos are available on Mount Rainier's Flickr page.
Tiger Lily

Tiger Lily

NPS, Chris Roundtree

Plan Your Visit
Paradise
and
Sunrise are two of the main visitor center areas at Mount Rainier National Park. Both areas are well known for their impressive wildflower meadows. The park also maintains dozens of trails perfect for wildflower viewing.

Did You Know?