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.
  • Winter Recreation - Guided snowshoe walks and other activities at Paradise during the winter season.

 
 
Paradise - SUMMER
Summer ranger programs are typically late June-September. Check the calendar for any updated information.
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.
Saturday and Sunday
2pm
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.
Daily
10:30am
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.
Daily
1pm
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.

Daily
9:30am

One Hundred Years of the Paradise Inn
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.

Wednesday through Monday
2:30pm

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.
Thursday through Sunday
9:45pm
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.
Daily
8:45pm
Meadow Meander
Join a ranger to explore the ecology, flora, and fauna of the iconic meadows at Paradise. Meet at the flagpole in front of the visitor center. 75 minutes.
Daily
2pm
Special Programs
Check at bulletin boards, visitor centers, or Inns for schedule.
 

Longmire/Cougar Rock Campground - SUMMER
Summer ranger programs are typically July - September. Check the calendar for any updated information.

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.
Daily
6:30pm
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.
Daily
8:30pm
 

Sunrise/White River Campground - SUMMER
Summer ranger programs are typically July - September. Check the calendar for any updated information.

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.
Thursday, Saturday, and Sunday
10am
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.
Daily
1pm and 3pm
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.
Tuesday through Sunday
7:30pm
Discover Sunrise
Join a ranger to explore and discover the resources of this special place. See park bulletin boards and website for details on the experience that changes daily. Meet at the Sunrise Visitor Center flagpole. 1-2 hours
Daily
2pm
Check bulletin boards for additional Junior Ranger programs, special programs, and schedule updates.
 
Ohanapecosh - SUMMER
Summer ranger programs are typically July - September. Check the calendar for any updated information.

Program Days and Times
Junior Ranger Program
Ages 6 to 11. Join a ranger or volunteer for fun and educational activities! Meet at the Ohanapecosh Visitor Center. 45 minutes.
Daily
10am
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.
Wednesday through Saturday
8:30pm
Junior Scientists
Youth aged 9 and older are invited to participate on a scientific investigation with a park ranger. Meet at the Ohanapecosh Visitor Center. 90 minutes.
Saturday
10am

Discover the Grove of the Patriarchs
Join a ranger to explore and discover the resources of this special place. See park bulletin boards and website for details on the experience that changes daily. Meet at the Grove of the Patriarchs parking lot. 1-2 hours.

Daily
2pm

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 area is typically open late December to early March, depending on snow pack. Update 3/27/17: The snowplay/sledding area has closed for the 2016-2017 season. 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.



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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 15-25 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.
-- 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.

Last updated: June 30, 2017

Contact the Park

Mailing Address:

55210 238th Avenue East
Ashford, WA 98304

Phone:

(360) 569-2211

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