Paradise

Wildflowers paint a meadow in blues and purples.
Wildflower meadow at Paradise with a view of the Tatoosh Range.

NPS/M. Larson Photo

Paradise is famous for its glorious views and wildflower meadows. When James Longmire's daughter-in-law, Martha, first saw this site, she exclaimed, "Oh, what a paradise!" The park's main visitor center, the Henry M. Jackson Memorial Visitor Center, is located in the upper parking area. Paradise is also the primary winter-use area in the park, receiving on average 643 inches (53.6 feet/16.3 meters) of snow a year. Winter activities include snowshoeing, cross-country skiing, and sledding. The road between Longmire and Paradise is plowed, but closes at night during the winter. See the current Road Status for updated information about park roads. Paradise is located 19 miles (30 km) east of the Nisqually Entrance and 12 miles (19 km) east of Longmire.

You might also consider visiting other parts of the park such as Longmire, Sunrise, Ohanapecosh, and the Carbon River-Mowich Lake areas.

 

Paradise Visitor Guide

Find out current conditions and things to do while visiting Paradise.

Go to the Paradise Visitor Guide
 
A black and white historic photo of a large wood and stone building with old fashioned cars parked in front.
The historic Paradise Inn has been a popular destination for generations.

NPS Photo

Services

See Operating Hours and Seasons for current information about these facilities. NOTE: Many facilities are closed or have limited hours due to COVID-19 health precautions. Learn more about the park's response in the COVID-19 Visitor Guide for Healthy Access.

The Henry M Jackson Memorial Visitor Center at Paradise offers general information, exhibits, the park film, guided ranger programs, a book/gift store, and cafeteria. The visitor center is usually open daily from May to early October. From mid-October through April, it is usually open only on weekends and holidays.

The historic Paradise Inn, a concessioner-operated hotel, offers lodging, a dining room, and a gift shop. The Paradise Inn is usually open from mid-May to early-October and is closed in the winter. The article, Paradise Inn: A History of Beauty and Challenge, provides an overview of the history of the Paradise Inn.

The Guide House houses the Paradise Climbing Information Center, where visitors can obtain climbing permits and hiking and backcountry camping information.

The historic Paradise Ranger Station is also located at Paradise. Information services formerly available at the Paradise Ranger Station are now available at the Guide House.

For a summary of Paradise activities, download the Paradise Things To Do guide.

 
 

Roadside Attractions

Paradise Valley Road - Start next to the Paradise Inn to follow this one-way road through a beautiful meadow filled valley.

Reflection Lakes - Drive 3 miles (4.8 km) east of Paradise on Stevens Canyon Road for a possible glimpse of Mount Rainier's reflection in these subalpine lakes.

Inspiration Point - Just east of Paradise Valley Road on Stevens Canyon Road, this large pullout offers spectacular views of Mount Rainier and the Tatoosh Range.

 
A female hiker holding trekking poles descends steps in a trail through a wildflower meadow.
Trails through the wildflower meadows of Paradise can range from easy to strenuous.

NPS Photo

Hiking

If you plan to visit Paradise, remember that Paradise is located at an elevation of 5,400 feet and trails may be steep and strenuous. Snow can linger on trails well into June or even July. Please stay on the trails; the meadows are very fragile and heavily visited. Pets are not allowed on any trails.

Paradise Meadows Trails
Take any of these trails for excellent views of Mount Rainier, subalpine meadows, and wildlife:

  • Nisqually Vista Trail (1.2 mi/1.9 km) - Views of the Nisqually Glacier. Suitable for families with strollers.
  • Skyline Trail to Myrtle Falls (1 mi/1.6 km) - Paved and wheelchair accessible with assistance.
  • Deadhorse Creek Trail & Morraine Trail (2.5 mi/4 km) - Glacier and wildflower views.
  • Alta Vista Trail (1.7 mi/2.7 km) - Wildflowers and views of the Paradise area.

Skyline Trail (5.5 mi/8.8 km)
This loop trail is the essential Paradise area trail, climbing from the main visitor area up through subalpine meadows. Along the way view Mount Rainier, glaciers, and the Tatoosh Range, with glimpses of Mount Adams and Mount St. Helens on clear days.

Bench & Snow Lakes Trail (2.4 mi/3.7 km)
Located east of Reflection Lakes along Stevens Canyon Road, Bench Lake is 0.75 miles (1.2 km) from the trailhead, while Snow Lake is 0.5 miles (0.8 km) further down the trail. Enjoy lovely subalpine meadows and lakes.

Pinnacle Peak (2.6 mi/4.2 km)
Starting from Reflection Lakes, hike into the Tatoosh Range for excellent views of Mount Rainier and Mount Adams.

Enjoy other day hikes in the Paradise area, or learn about more Trails of Mount Rainier.

 

Last updated: October 26, 2020

Contact the Park

Mailing Address:

55210 238th Avenue East
Ashford, WA 98304

Phone:

(360) 569-2211

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