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

    Mount Rainier

    National Park Washington

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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 patch of gentian blooming in a subalpine meadow, its leaves already starting to turn.

Gentian is amongst the last flower species to bloom. This particular patch of gentian is blooming even as its leaves begin to turn with autumn colors. Photo taken along the High Lakes Trail, September 12, 2014.

NPS Photo.

Currently Blooming - September 15, 2014

Mountain Bog Gentians are blooming throughout the park. Their deep blue-purple color is a last farewell to summer, as they are one of the final flower species to bloom every year. Another late-bloomer, northern microseris, is bringing bright yellow color to lower elevation areas, particularly around Longmire. Microseris is a popular flower with Pine White Butterflies, which are also starting to appear.

Wildflower Reports
  • Burroughs Mountain Trail (8/31): dwarf lupine, buckweat, paintbrush, spearleaf stonecrop
  • Paradise (9/6): pearly everlasting, paintbrush, asters, lady tresses' orchids, Sitka mountain ash berries (turning from yellow to red), seedheads. Fall colors starting to appear with false hellebore and vine maples starting to turn.
  • Longmire (9/11): northern microseris
  • High Lakes Trail (9/12): mountain bog gentian, Cascade asters, American bistort
 

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?

Northwest face of Mount Rainier and Emmons Glacier as seen from Sunrise.

Mount Rainier is the most heavily glaciated peak in the lower 48 states at 35 square miles of snow and ice with Emmons Glacier being the largest by surface area with 4.3 square miles of ice. The Emmons is best viewed from Sunrise on the NE side of the mountain.