The gate to Paradise at Longmire closes nightly.
Mon-Fri: Closes at 5:00 pm, depart Paradise no later than 4:30 pm to safely drive down the hill before the gate closes. Sat-Sun: Closes at 7:00 pm, depart Paradise no later than 6:30 pm. More »
The Snow Play area in Paradise is open on weekends and holidays.
The Paradise snow play area for sledding and sliding is open Sat-Sun, and on holidays. More »
Watch out for hazardous winter conditions!
As the amount of snow in the park increases, be aware of increased risk of Avalanches and Snow Immersion Suffocation. More »
Wonderland Trail/ Mount Rainier
Today's hikers find the 93 mile Wonderland to be one of the best ways to explore Mount Rainier National Park. The trail passes through major life-zones of the park, from lowland forests to subalpine meadows of wildflowers. Passing swift rivers, the trail leads to commanding views of Mount Rainier cloaked in icy glaciers. As the trail circles the mountain, hikers witness the varied faces of Mount Rainier, carved by 25 named glaciers.
Weather is a constantly changing factor. While summer is often dry and sunny, oceanic influences can also bring moisture as rain or snow at higher elevations. Hikers can find both company and solitude along the way. Although thousands hike the Wonderland Trail each summer, many stretches of the trail still provide the chance to be alone. Prior awareness of trail and weather conditions, wilderness regulations and general hiking information about the park will enhance a trip along the Wonderland Trail.
Mount Rainier National Park's Wilderness Management Plan provides for Wilderness Camping Permits and Use Limits.
Backcountry camps along the Wonderland Trail are extremely popular throughout the summer and Wilderness Camping Reservations are strongly recommended.
Eighteen trailside camps, 3 to 7 miles apart, are located along the Wonderland Trail. Each camp has 1 to 8 sites for 1 to 5 persons per site. These sites will hold 2 average size tents. Group sites are available at certain camps for parties of 6 to 12 persons. These sites typically hold 3-5 tents. Each camp has cleared tent sites, a pit or composting toilet and nearby water source. Boil, treat or filter all water before drinking! Most camps have food storage poles ("Bear Poles") for hanging food and garbage.
The Wonderland Trail traverses many ridges and valleys that radiate from Mount Rainier. A daily hike of 7 to 10 miles is recommended to compensate for the ruggedness of the trail. Daily elevation gains and losses of over 3,500 feet are common. Allow 10 to 14 days to hike the entire trail, depending on your daily average. The more time you give yourself, the more time you will have to enjoy the wonders of the Wonderland.
For complete trail descriptions refer to:
· Adventure Guide to Mount Rainier by Jeff Smoot
· Discovering the Wonders of the Wonderland Trail by Bette Filley
· 50 Hikes in Mount Rainier National Park by Ira Spring and Harvey Manning
· Hiking Guides to Mount Rainier National Park (north, east and southwest sections)
These sources, along with other references and maps, are available for purchase at the park's visitor centers or online from the Discover Your Northwest (formerly Northwest Interpretive Association) Bookstore.
Be prepared for mud, rain, sun and snow. In many years the Wonderland Trail is still mostly snow-covered during June and early July. Delaying your hiking plans until mid to late July will allow time for snow to melt and give trail crews a chance to clear fallen trees and repair bridges. Do not travel at high elevations during storms without strong map and compass skills. If possible, postpone travel until trail or weather conditions improve. An ice axe may be useful in negotiating snowy sections of the trail, especially during June and July. Beware of early snow storms in September! Check our web site for current trail conditions. NOAA weather radio also provides helpful weather information daily.
· Pack the "10 Essentials" and be prepared for minor injuries, sudden weather changes or delays. Always carry:
By caching food and supplies at designated ranger stations along the Wonderland Trail you can reduce the weight of your pack, and better enjoy your outdoor adventure. Caching food and supplies at Mount Rainier National Park can be easy and trouble free. The instructions listed below will, in most instances, provide all the information you need to cache food supplies at designated food cache areas. If you have further questions or need to make specific arrangements concerning time and pickup points for your cache, call or write to the desired cache areas listed below.
If you cache food and supplies remember that there is no guarantee that staff will be available at the time and day you arrive for the pickup. It would be a good idea to contact the park and check on the time and day you plan to make a cache drop off or pickup. This may save you time and frustration.
Park-wide food and supplies cache instructions and things to consider.
Caches are stored at the Longmire Wilderness Information Center and can be dropped off or picked up during normal business hours at the center from Memorial Day Weekend through Columbus Day. At all other times food caches should be dropped off or picked up by contacting a ranger at the Longmire Museum, 360-569-6575.
Mount Rainier National Park
Call 360-569-6650 beginning Memorial Day Weekend for further assistance.
Mount Rainier National Park
Mount Rainier National Park
Did You Know?
For many years, the Paradise Ice Caves were a popular attraction at Mount Rainier. Until the 1980s, visitors could explore passages within the Paradise Glacier which had formed due to seasonal melting of the ice. By the early 1990s, climate change had melted away the last traces of the caves. More...