Mount Rainier National Park is a popular place to enjoy winter activities. The mountain receives abundant snowfall and the scenery is spectacular. In winter, recreational opportunities are numerous. A winter visit to Mount Rainier can include ranger-guided snowshoe walks, Paradise snowplay, camping, snowboarding and skiing.
More information on winter recreation is available in the winter issue of the park's Tahoma newspaper. The Winter Recreation publication includes a winter recreation map of Paradise with marked trails and other useful winter recreation information. The Winter Camping brochure provides information for those wishing to camp at Paradise. For larger groups wishing to snow camp at Paradise, please read the Winter Group Camping brochure. Learn about winter hiking opportunities at Longmire in the Longmire Winter Trails brochure.
With the arrival of snow in late October, Mount Rainier's beauty changes and so do its challenges. Visitors planning to travel to the park in winter should familiarize themselves with winter travel tips, road status, and be prepared for potential winter hazards. For any questions on winter activities and snow conditions, contact the Longmire Information Center at 360-569-6575.
Winter Camping Food Storage
Snowplay - Sledding and Sliding
The snowplay area at Paradise is generally open late December through mid-March, depending on snow. Sledding and sliding are permitted only in the designated snow play area at Paradise. Trees, tree wells, and cliffs make other areas dangerous. For everyone's safety, use "soft" sliding devices-flexible sleds, inner tubes, and saucers. No hard toboggans or runner sleds. Note: Check the status of road and avalanche conditions before leaving home. Remember all vehicles are required to carry tire chains when traveling in the park in winter. Update 3/31/13: Snowplay is CLOSED for the 2012-2013 season.
Ranger-Guided Snowshoe Walks
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.
Skiing and Snowboarding
To avoid damaging exposed vegetation, a minimum of 5 feet of snow is strongly advised for skiing and snowboarding. Obtain further information at the Jackson Visitor Center at Paradise (weekends and holidays) and the Longmire Information Center (daily).
Did You Know?
The Paradise meadows were once home to a golf course, rope tows for skiers, an auto campground, and rows of tent cabins. All of these activities damaged the meadows, as does walking off-trail. Management practices have changed over the years, and we now protect and restore our precious subalpine meadows.