Paradise Winter Access Update
Last Updated: 1/5/22
Unexpected staffing shortfalls on the park’s road crew have impacted operational capacity and may decrease public vehicle access to Paradise this winter and the availability of the sledding area in winter 2021-22. Filling these critical vacancies is a top priority for the park to support safe visitor access.
To assist with trip planning, the park is now tweeting the expected road status for the following day by 4:00 pm at https://twitter.com/MountRainierNPS. Predictions are based on National Weather Service forecasts, current snow conditions, and availability of road crew to conduct appropriate snow removal operations to provide for safe public access. This tweet will be followed up by a 7:00 am tweet the following morning with an update.
With the plowing operations reduced priorities are 1-maintaining access from the Nisqually Entrance to Longmire, 2- maintenance operator access to Paradise to maintain buildings and utilities, 3-public road access to Paradise, 4-grooming Paradise sledding runs.
Road access to Longmire and its winter recreation opportunities, including the National Park Inn, will remain open, weather and safety conditions permitting. Winter recreation in the Longmire area includes cross country skiing, snowshoeing, winter hiking, tour the National Historic Landmark District.
To ensure a safe visit, do not walk or recreate on the Paradise Road at any time, closed or open. Snowplows may be operating and are often moving in the opposite direction of regular traffic. There are numerous opportunities for trail-based winter recreation apart from the primary road.
Remote winter recreation, including snowshoeing and cross-country skiing, is available in many areas of the park. Winter recreation is available outside the park at USFS Sno-parks, Mount Tahoma Trails, and nearby ski areas.
All vehicles are required to carry tire chains or approved traction devices such as AutoSocks, when traveling inside the park, regardless of vehicle type or destination. Use may be required at any time.
Roads are winding, icy, and snow-covered in winter. While driving in the park, slow down and do not pass other vehicles or snowplows.
Temporary Closure of Park Facilities
Last Updated: 1/4/22
Public access is based upon updated risk assessments and staffing availability. Visitors are encouraged to #RecreateResponsibly. The safety of our park visitors, employees and partners remains Mount Rainier National Park's top priority.
Following guidance from the CDC and recommendations from state and local public health authorities in consultation with NPS Public Health Service Officers, the following facilities and services are suspended until further notice:
Note that many facilities and roads normally close for the winter.
- Grove of the Patriarchs - The Grove of the Patriarchs is closed to all public entry effective November 17, 2021 and until further notice, due to flooding which caused significant damage to the suspension bridge that provides the only safe access to the area. See the attached emergency regulation signed by the Deputy Superintendent. The Grove will remain closed until the bridge can be repaired or replaced. A repair timeline is unknown at this time. News Release, 11/17/21
- Carbon River Area - Due to erosion by the Carbon River which has washed out the start of the Carbon River Road, and due to continued heavy precipitation, high river levels, and unstable trail conditions, the Carbon River Trail and all attached trailheads are closed to all public entry effective November 15, 2021 and until further notice. See the attached map and emergency regulation signed by the Superintendent. News Release, 11/15/21
- Park visitor centers:
- Look for rangers at outdoor information stations near the Jackson Visitor Center at Paradise on weekends & holidays and at the Longmire Museum daily.
- Ranger services have ended for the season at Sunrise and Ohanapecosh Visitor Centers.
- Sunrise Day Lodge & Paradise Inn for the winter.
- Wilderness Information Centers:
- At Paradise, climbers self-register at the Old Paradise Ranger Station.
- At Longmire, wilderness permits are available at the Longmire Museum.
- Cougar Rock, Ohanapecosh & White River Campgrounds for the winter.
- Roads closed for the winter: Sunrise Road, Mowich Lake Road, Paradise Valley Road, White River Road, Stevens Canyon Road, Ricksecker Point Road, Westside Road, SR410 (Chinook Pass), SR123 (Cayuse Pass)
- The road from Nisqually Entrance to Longmire and restrooms and trailheads along open road corridors. Go to Road Status for details.
- The park backcountry is accessible for dispersed recreation such as hiking and backcountry winter camping. Wilderness permits are required for all overnight use. Check the Winter Trail Report for updates on current conditions.
- The National Park Inn in Longmire for overnight guests. Hot grab and go food is available. Visit mtrainierguestservices.com for updates on Inn operations.
- Longmire General Store providing gifts and grab-and-go food options. Check Operating Hours for details.
- Climbing and upper mountain recreation to the summit. Check the climbing page for more information.
Updates to this temporary closure will be posted here and on .
All regulations concerning backcountry access use apply. Check updates on obtaining backcountry and climbing permits and learn about safe recreation in the park.
People visiting the park’s backcountry during this pandemic should adhere to guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and state and local public health authorities to protect visitors and employees. As services are limited, visitors should practice Leave No Trace principles, including pack-in and pack-out, to keep outdoor spaces safe. Visitors are urged to plan ahead, hike smart, pack the Ten Essentials, and have an emergency plan. Consider learning CPR and basic wilderness first aid, especially if you are planning to hike in the backcountry.
Enjoy Mount Rainier National Park from home through these online experiences:
Visitors can call our information line at (360) 569-2211 with questions or for help with planning future trips or email.
The health and safety of our visitors, employees, volunteers, and partners at Mount Rainier National Park is our number one priority. The NPS is taking extraordinary steps to implement the latest guidance from state and local authorities, which support the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention’s (CDC) efforts to promote social distancing and slow the spread of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19).
The NPS urges visitors to do their part when visiting a park and to follow CDC guidance to prevent the spread of infectious diseases by maintaining a safe distance between yourself and other groups; washing your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds; avoiding touching your eyes, nose, and mouth; covering your mouth and nose when you cough or sneeze; and most importantly, staying home if you feel sick.
For high-risk populations, such as the elderly and people with underlying conditions, we ask that you take extra caution and follow CDC guidance for those at higher risk of serious illness.
Updates about current park conditions. Updates are also posted by .
- Please remain alert to your surroundings at all times and be aware of geohazards. Report any unusual stream flow or conditions to a park ranger.
Planning Your Visit
Conditions can change rapidly on Mount Rainier. Before heading to the park, make sure to check the following:
- Weather - View the Mount Rainier Recreation Forecast, along with a variety of other weather reports.
- Webcams - See current conditions for yourself! Webcams at Paradise and Longmire are live year-round; webcams at Camp Muir, Camp Schurman, and Sunrise are available during the summer season.
- Road Status - Most roads in the park close for the winter. Open roads can still close at any time due to weather or conditions. Check for road condition updates (account is not required to view).
- Operating Hours & Seasons - Find out operating dates & hours for park visitor centers, ranger stations, Inns, and other facilities. Many park facilities close for the winter.
- Trail Conditions - It is recommended to check with a ranger for the most recent conditions before heading out on a trail. You can also call the Longmire Museum between 9:00 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. at 360-569-6575 for more information.
Laws and Policies
Please note several laws and policies relating to Mount Rainier National Park that may affect your visit. The full park compendium is available on the park management page.
Marijuana on Federal Lands
Mount Rainier National Park would like to provide clarification regarding the use and possession of marijuana on Federal lands. The recently passed Washington State law, which allows for limited recreational marijuana use under certain conditions, has no bearing on Federal laws which continue to identify marijuana as a Schedule I illegal drug, and prohibit its use. Possession of marijuana or use of any amount of marijuana is still prohibited in Mount Rainier National Park, its facilities, concessions, and campgrounds, and in the surrounding National Forest Lands. Violations are punishable by a fine of not more than $5,000.00 for an individual or $10,000.00 for an organization, or imprisonment for not more than six months, or both (16 U.S.C. 551, 18 U.S.C. 3559 and 3571).
Launching, landing, or operating an unmanned aircraft (drone) from or on lands and waters administered by the National Park services within the boundaries of Mount Rainier National Park is prohibited (36 CFR 1.5 (a)(1) Superintendent's Compendium).
This restriction is to protect the public from hazards and preserve the park's natural, aesthetic, and scenic values. The use of unmanned aircraft devices, such as Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) or drones, has the potential to interfere with public safety by posing an in-flight hazard to other legal aircraft use in the park. The use of these devices also has the potential to disrupt wildlife by interrupting migration, nesting, mating, and hunting activities to include, but not limited to protected species such as the Northern Spotted Owl, Marbled Murrelets, and Peregrine Falcon, as well as native birds and mammals. This restriction is in accordance with NPS Management Policy 8.2 which prohibits recreational uses that conflict with the scenic, natural, and historic values the park was designated to protect, and the associated activities in which individuals seek solitude and tranquility with an expectation of privacy. 97% of Mount Rainier National Park is designated Wilderness. Launching and landing of UAS's in the park can invite violations to the Wilderness Act, which prohibits the operation of motorized vehicles or mechanized transport.