Ranger-led Programs

Early ranger leading campfire program
An early ranger leading a campfire program.

NPS Photo

Since the early days of the National Park Service, rangers have shared their knowledge through the presentation of interpretive programs--guided walks, talks, and campfire programs for visitors of all ages. Today, that long-standing tradition continues.

Please join the Mount Rainier interpretive staff for a variety of free programs, ranging from informal talks at park visitor centers to junior ranger programs for kids to evening campfire programs. Topics vary from day to day, and may include geology, wildlife, ecology, mountaineering, or park history. Most programs are available from late-June until Labor Day. Schedules are posted throughout the park, as well as in the park newspaper. Details and short descriptions of some evening programs are also available in the calender of events.

 
Find the program to fit your visit
Most ranger-led programs are offered in the summer months, typically July-September, in locations throughout the park. However, guided snowshoe walks and other programs are offered in the winter at Paradise.


 
 
Paradise - SUMMER
Summer ranger programs are typically late June-September. All programs start on July 1, 2016.
Program Days & Times
Discover Paradise
Participate with a ranger in exploring life at 5,000 feet. Meet at the flagpole in front of the visitor center. Return on your own. 60 minutes.
2:00 pm every day
Mount Rainier - An Active Volcano
What's Mount Rainier up to? Join a park staff member for a dialogue about the Northwest's iconic volcano. Meet at the flagpole outside of the visitor center. Return time on your own. 60 minutes.
10:30 am every day
Junior Ranger Program
Join a ranger or volunteer for fun and educational activities to earn your Junior Ranger Patch! Ages 6 to 11, parents must remain with their Junior Rangers. Meet inside the visitor center at the front desk. 30-45 minutes.
1:00 pm every day
Paradise Ranger Chat
Join a ranger in the lobby of the Paradise Inn to help plan your day at the park. Meet in the lobby. 25 minutes.

9:30 am Sun - Mon
9:30 am Wed - Sat

Paradise Inn Lobby Talk
Join a ranger to discover fascinating stories of Paradise area and the historic Paradise Inn. Look for the ranger inside the Paradise Inn. 30 minutes.

2:30 pm Sun - Mon
2:30 pm Wed - Sat

Astronomy Program
Observe the heavens from the slopes of Mount Rainier. Meet in front of the Paradise Visitor Center. Check for start times at the visitor center or call the astronomy hotline: (360) 569-6230. 2 hours.
9:45 pm every evening, weather permitting
Paradise Inn Evening Program
Take a seat in the lobby of the Paradise Inn and enjoy an evening with a park ranger or a guest speaker. Topics vary. Inquire at the Jackson Visitor Center or at the Paradise Inn for program descriptions. 45 minutes.
8:45 pm every evening
Visitor's Choice
What's on your mind about Mount Rainier National Park? Help the ranger plan the program Meet at the relief map in the visitor center. 45 minutes.
3:15 pm every day
Special Programs
Check at bulletin boards, visitor centers, or Inns for schedule.
 

Longmire/Cougar Rock Campground - SUMMER
Summer ranger programs are typically July - September. All programs start on July 1, 2016.

Program Days & Times
Junior Ranger Program
Join a ranger or volunteer for fun and educational activities to earn your Junior Ranger Patch! Ages 6 to 11. Meet at the Cougar Rock Campground Amphitheater. Parking at the campground is limited. If you attend the program but are not camping, please park in the Cougar Rock Picnic Area across the park road from the campground. 30-45 minutes.
6:30 pm every evening
Evening Program
Join a ranger or volunteer for a program that involves, inspires, and explores! Topics vary nightly. Meet at the Cougar Rock Campground Amphitheater. Parking at the campground is limited. If you attend the program but are not camping, please park in the Cougar Rock Picnic Area across the park road from the campground. 45 minutes.
8:30 pm every evening
Take a HIKE! With a Ranger
Experience the forest along the Paradise River en route to Carter Falls. Meet at the Carter Falls Trailhead, 2.1 miles east of Longmire, just east of the Cougar Rock Campground. Bring water, a hat, and sturdy shoes. 2 hours with ranger. Return on your own. 90 minutes, 2 miles. Return on your own.
10:30 am every Saturday
Our Mountain: A History of Adventure
Join us as we share stories of the past and present. Even if the tales have grown more outrageous with time, chances are we'll still find a lot in common. Check with the Longmire Museum for further details.
10:15 am and 3:30 pm every Sunday
 

Sunrise/White River Campground - SUMMER
Summer ranger programs are typically July - September. All programs start on July 1, 2016.

Program Days & Times
Junior Ranger Program
Children ages 6 to 11 are invited to join park staff for a fun activity about the mountain, glaciers, habitats, and more. Meet at the White River Campfire Circle. 1 hour.
10:00 am Fri - Sun
Sunrise Afternoon Guided Walk
Learn about the natural and cultural history of the Sunrise area on this easy ramble with a ranger. Meet at the Sunrise Visitor Center flagpole. The trail is not wheelchair accessible. 45 minutes.
1:00 pm and 3:00 every day
Evening Program
Take an in-depth look at a special topic of Mount Rainier National Park during a traditional campfire talk. Meet at the campfire circle in the White River Campground. 45 minutes.
7:30 pm Mon - Wed (until Aug. 6)
7:30 pm Fri - Sat (until Aug. 6)
7:00 pm Sun - Wed (beginning Aug. 7)
7:00 pm Fri - Sat (beginning Aug. 7)
Thursdays: see bulletin boards

History Comes Alive
National parks tell stories of people - past and present. Meet characters from Mount Rainier National Park's past and hear their stories.
Check bulletin boards for times.
Check bulletin boards for additional Junior Ranger programs, special programs, and schedule updates.
 

Ohanapecosh - SUMMER
Summer ranger programs are typically July - September. All programs start on July 1, 2016.

Program Days & Times
Junior Ranger Program
Ages 6 to 11. Join a ranger or volunteer for fun and educational activities! Meet at the Ohanapecosh Visitor Center. 1 hour.
10:00 every day (except Mondays)
Evening Program
Join a ranger or volunteer for a program that involves, inspires, and explores! Topics vary nightly. Meet at the Ohanapecosh Campground Amphitheater. 45 minutes.

9:00 pm on Tuesdays, and Thurs - Sat (until Aug. 5)
8:30 pm on Tuesdays, and Thurs - Sat (beginning Aug. 6)
Wednesdays: see bulletin boards

History Comes Alive
National parks tell stories of people - past and present. Meet characters from Mount Rainier National Park's past, and hear their stories.
Check bulletin boards for dates and times.
Check Bulletin boards for additional Junior Ranger programs, special programs, and schedule updates.
 

Paradise - WINTER
Winter programs depend on snow conditions and can change unexpectedly due to weather. The Longmire-Paradise road closes nightly during the winter so make sure to check the road status before heading out. Winter ranger programs are generally offered late December-March on weekends and holidays.

Snowplay/Sledding
Sledding and sliding are permitted only in the designated snow play area at Paradise. The snowplay/sledding area has closed for the 2015-2016 season. Check back next year! Learn more about the Paradise snow play area and other Winter Recreation.

Program Dates Times
Guided Snowshoe Walks - First-come, First-served
Join a park ranger to learn the art of snowshoeing and discover how plants, animals, and people adapt to the challenging winter conditions at Mount Rainier. Meet inside the Jackson Visitor Center near the Information Desk. Sign-ups begin one hour in advance of scheduled time; all snowshoe walk participants must be present at sign-up. 2 hours/1.8 miles. Limit 25 people.
Check back for winter 2016-2017!
11:00 am and 1:30 pm
Guided Snowshoe Walks - Organized Groups
Join a park ranger to learn the art of snowshoeing and discover how plants, animals, and people adapt to the challenging winter conditions at Mount Rainier. Meet inside the Jackson Visitor Center near the Information Desk. 2 hours/1.8 miles. Group size 10-25 people, by reservation only. To make a reservation call (360) 569-6575 between 9:30 am-4:00pm, or visit the Longmire Information Center or Jackson Visitor Center.
Check back for winter 2016-2017!
2:00 pm

NOTE:
  • Snowshoes for ranger-led walks are provided by the park. A $5.00 donation from each snowshoe walk participant helps the park provide snowshoe walks, and repair and replace snowshoes.
  • Don't forget sunscreen, sunglasses, layers of warm cloths, hats, mittens, and suitable boots. You will sink into the snow even with snowshoes on.
  • The park also offers snowshoe walks to school groups by reservation only. Call (360) 569-6592 for school group reservations.

Contact the Park

Mailing Address:

55210 238th Avenue East
Ashford, WA 98304

Phone:

(360) 569-2211
Callers to this general park line can choose from a menu that includes recorded information as well as opportunities to talk to a ranger at one of the park's administration or visitor centers. Rangers are only available to answer calls during business hours.

Contact Us