Paradise April Access Frequently Asked Questions
Updated November 8, 2023
How is access to Paradise different this winter than last winter?
Public vehicle access to Paradise has been extended to five days (Thursdays through Mondays) and federal holidays, weather, staffing, and equipment permitting. This is three days more per week than last winter.
Is the park closed on Tuesdays and Wednesdays if the road to Paradise is only open Thursdays-Mondays?
The park remains open daily. On days that the gate to Paradise is closed, visitors may still enjoy vehicle access to Longmire, the National Park Inn, and all associated trailheads. The Carbon River Area, and the east side of the park remain open for normal winter recreation. For recreational opportunities outside the park please visit https://www.nps.gov/mora/planyourvisit/alternative-winter-destinations-activities.htm.
Could anything prevent the road between Longmire and Paradise from opening on Thursday through Monday?
Some factors could cause access to Paradise to close on Thursdays through Mondays including adverse weather/road conditions, unforeseen staffing issues, equipment failures, high avalanche risks, a motor vehicle accident or another emergency.
Where can I find out if the road to Paradise is open or closed?
Information about the gate status will be posted in “Alerts” on the park’s website
Why is the road to Paradise not open seven days a week this winter?
We have increased staffing levels to the point that private vehicle and winter recreation access to Paradise can be supported five days per week, Thursdays through Mondays. This is three days more each week than last winter.
The road will reopen 7 days a week this winter if/when we have adequate staffing levels to support increased access.
We are continuing to try to hire more staff and solicit additional volunteers and will revisit the Paradise access schedule this winter if staffing levels change. Park leadership continues to explore creative staffing solutions. Current job opportunities can be found here.
Paradise will open daily as usual in spring 2024, dependent upon weather conditions. We will post the reopening date on our website.
Can I get to Longmire seven days a week?
The Longmire area is open every day barring major storm events.
How does the change in access affect tire chain requirements?
The change in access does not affect tire chain requirements. Between November 1 and May 1, all vehicles are required to carry tire chains when traveling to any location inside Mount Rainier National Park. This requirement applies to all vehicle types in all weather and road conditions. More information on tire chain requirements can be found on our website.
Where can I recreate inside the park this winter?
Conditions permitting, the entire park will be open for winter recreation, with vehicle access to Paradise on Thursdays through Mondays. Information on winter activities within the park and nearby areas outside the park is available on the park website.
Where can I camp during the winter?
- When snow-cover is adequate, winter camping on specified days will be permitted along the Nisqually to Paradise corridor. It is allowed nightly throughout the remainder of the park when there is sufficient snow-cover. Visit the park website for more information.
- Paradise Winter Camping Public Access – Winter camping at Paradise is available Thursday-Sunday nights only, road conditions permitting.
- Paradise Winter Camp Concessions Access – Guide services will have access to support five-day weekday camping. Vehicle access into and out of Paradise is permitted only on Thursday-Monday. There is no guarantee the road will be maintained daily for administrative access.
- Cougar Rock Campground Winter Camping – Available only for Paradise overflow camping. Overflow camping means that people with reservations to camp at Paradise can be shifted to Cougar Rock in the event that the park is unable to open the road to Paradise to vehicles Thursday-Sunday. Visitors will have to park at Longmire, and access Cougar Rock from the adjacent Wonderland Trail. Hiking, snowshoeing, and skiing are not permitted on the roadway for safety reasons, as snowplows may be actively working on the road and will not be expecting pedestrians. There are no services available at Cougar Rock (no running water, no restrooms, and no shelters). Snow caves are not permitted. Restrooms are not available in winter. Sites are not reservable.
- Longmire Area – No winter camping. This area is not zoned for camping.
Can I access Paradise during the week if I have a winter camping permit?
Winter camping at Paradise is available Thursday-Sunday nights only, road conditions permitting. Winter camping at Paradise will not be permitted Monday-Wednesday nights due to the closure of the Longmire to Paradise road.
How can I provide comments about this change?
You may contact us on our website. The superintendent’s office receives all submitted comments.