Paradise provides access to a network of trails suitable for every ability. The weather can change quickly to winter conditions, with snow, wind, and cold temperatures. Make sure to check the trail status map below to see current snow conditions on trails. If you are not prepared to hike on snow, try a lower elevation hike at Longmire or Ohanapecosh. Just because you start off on a snow-free trail at a lower elevation, that doesn't mean the entire trail will be snow-free.
Please stay on trails! It may be tempting to skirt patches of snow that are covering trails. However, by going off trail you are walking on and damaging the wildflowers that you may be coming to see! It is better to stay on the trail even if that means crossing snow, particularly in the high-visitation meadows around Paradise.
Hiking on Snow Safety
Mount Rainier receives abundant snowfall and some hiking trails will remain snow-covered well into the summer. Hikers expecting dry trails may encounter challenging conditions and other hazards due to lingering patches of snow. Trails that would otherwise be considered easy may be too difficult or unsafe to navigate.
Choose to turn around instead of crossing steep, snow–covered slopes. A fall could be disastrous. Comet Falls and Pinnacle Peak trails often have hazardous slopes. Take an ice axe if you know how to use it.
Falling through thin snow bridges is a hazard anywhere streams remain snow-covered. Listen for the muffled sound of running water under the snow.
Avoid the Myrtle Falls area until snow-free. Several hazards exist at Myrtle Fall including punching through snow, snow cornices, and steep, icy slopes.
Avoid stepping onto snow cornices (ledges of snow that overhang an edge, ridgeline, etc.) as they may collapse under your weight.
You may need reliable map and compass to traverse snow-covered trails, which can be difficult to follow, particularly in backcountry areas. Panhandle Gap, Spray Park, and Seattle Park are frequent problem areas.
Beware of avalanches! Unstable snow may slide at any time...not just in winter!
Falling into snow moats around trees (tree wells), and adjacent to logs and rocks, can cause injury. Avoid getting too close.
Avoid stepping on wet, slippery rocks, especially near rivers and waterfalls. Common hazard areas are Narada Falls and Silver Falls.
Before starting your hike, stop by a Wilderness Information Center or visitor center for the latest trail conditions.
The upper mountain is open for climbing and recreation. Remember, travel above high camps and/or glaciated travel requires a climbing permit. Some temporary restrictions still remain in place. Check the climbing page for details. If you are heading to Camp Muir, make sure to download the Camp Muir with Bearings Map site bulletin.
Paradise is a National Historic Landmark District. The Paradise Inn, built in 1917, is also a historic landmark. In addition to the Paradise Inn, view other historic buildings in the area. Or, learn more about the Paradise Area.
CLOSED for the season
Climbers can self-register at the Old Paradise Ranger Station.
Wilderness Permits are required for all overnight camping and are available at the Longmire Museum. NOTE: The Jackson Visitor Center does NOT register wilderness permits.
Paradise Picnic Area & Restrooms
CLOSED for the season
Paradise Parking Map
Designated parking at Paradise includes:
Accessible Parking - Day Use & Overnight Parking*
Located along the north side of the upper lot or by the Paradise Inn.
Drop Off Zones - Passenger Drop Off only - No Parking
Located along the Paradise Plaza on the northwest side of the upper lot and in front of Paradise Inn.
Paradise Upper Parking Lot - Day Use Only - No Overnight Parking
Paradise Lower Parking Lot - Day Use & Overnight Parking*
Overflow Parking: Paradise Picnic Area - Day Use & Overnight Parking*; Paradise Valley Road - Overflow Parking or Bus/RV Parking. CLOSED during the winter.
*Note that overnight parking requires a backcountry camping permit or hotel reservation. No sleeping in vehicles overnight.
Know Before You Go
Check the weather, make a plan, leave your itinerary with someone at home, and pack accordingly. Don’t forget the 10 Essentials. If you do not have the right gear — don’t go.
Play It Safe
Know your limits, only attempt activities that are within your skill level, and be prepared to turn back if necessary to reduce the risk of injury. The mountain will always be here for you to explore.
Finding Your Way
Carry and know how to use a good map and compass, and actively use them. For best coverage beneath a forest canopy supplement, your map and compass with an external-antenna GPS.
Your leashed pets are welcome in campgrounds, parking lots, and on roads open to the public. Pets are not allowed on trails (service animals excepted).
Leave No Trace
No matter how you recreate at Mount Rainier, whether in the park’s backcountry or on a day trip, pack out trash, do not feed or approach wildlife, and leave natural and cultural objects where you found them.
Meadows are delicate and see increased visitation every year. Please stay on the trail to protect these unique ecosystems.