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.

Numerous bunchberry flowers, each framed by four white bracts, bloom across a mat of dense green leaves.

Bunches of bunchberry! Photo taken May 26, 2015, near Kautz bridge.

NPS/Carolyn Loren Photo

Currently Blooming - May 28, 2015
Reports say that wildflower conditions along Upper Kautz trail are already looking great with numerous flowers starting to bloom. However, this lovely patch of Bunchberry/Dwarf Dogwood (Cornus canadensis) was photographed near the start of the trail by Kautz bridge. The distinctive four white "petals" of Bunchberry are actually bracts, or modified leaves, that protect the flower. The actual flowers are very small and greenish-white.

Wildflower Reports

  • Longmire: (5/28) early: cascade oregon-grape, slender bog orchid, crevice alumroot, vanilla leaf; peak: siberian miner's lettuce/candyflower, lupine; peak to late: large leaved sandwort, wild strawberry, coltsfoot seedheads. Rampart Ridge: pink mountain heather on the open view area.
  • Upper Kautz Trail (around 5,000-5,500 feet): (5/26) early: avalanche and glacier lilies, magenta paintbrush, sitka valerian, marsh marigold
  • Paradise (around road sides, trails- many areas still have patchy snow cover): (5/26) early: pasqueflower, marsh marigold, siberian miner's lettuce/candyflower, fan-leaved cinquefoil, jeffrey's shooting stars; (5/21) early: glacier lilies, buttercup, yellow violets, alaska (purple) violets, willow catkins.
  • Roadsides between Paradise-Longmire: (5/21) early: avalanche lilies, paintbrush, trillium.
  • Nisqually Entrance: (5/20) early: vanilla leaf, crimson columbine
  • Longmire: (5/14) early to peak: trillium, big-leaved sandwort, heart-leafed twayblade, cascade oregon-grape, lupine; peak: kinnickinnick, wild strawberry, peak to late: skunk cabbage, yellow violets, alaska (purple) 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?