Discover Wildflowers

Rows of bright blue-purple penstemon wildflowes.
Penstemon wildflowers growing along the road to Sunrise.

NPS Photo

 

Mount Rainer's renowned wildflowers bloom for a limited amount of time every year. The "peak" bloom for wildflowers is heavily dependent on weather and precipitation patterns, so accurate predictions are difficult. In most years, many flowers will be blooming by mid-July, and by the first of August the meadows should be very impressive. Frost can occur by late August, but even after light frosts the meadows continue to be very beautiful, thanks to changing leaf colors and seed pod development that take the place of colorful blossoms.

For a better idea of what the wildflowers are doing this year, please see the Currently Blooming section below, which summarizes what's blooming where.

Explore further:

  • Wildflower Guide - Unfamiliar with Mount Rainier's wildflowers? Photos and brief descriptions of some of the common wildflower species can be found in the park's online wildflower guide.
  • Subalpine and Forest wildflower photo galleries
  • Wildflower video gallery - Preview Mount Rainier's blooming wildflower meadows by watching these short clips.
  • The Seasons of Mount Rainier - View short clips of different plants found in various parts of the park.
  • Ecological Restoration - Watch short videos about the Ecological Restoration program's work in the park.

Clumps of tall yellow wildflowers bloom alongside a rocky mountain stream.
Arrowleaf groundsel along the Spray Park Trail, August 10, 2017

NPS Photo

Currently Blooming - August 17, 2017

Most subalpine meadows are past peak bloom, however that does not mean there are no wildflowers! Many later-season wildflowers like pearly everlasting, rosy spirea, and arrowleaf groundsel are still blooming well. While there are many yellow wildflowers in the park, arrowleaf groundsel (Senecio triangularis) is one of the easiest to identify for its toothed arrow-shaped leaves. It’s also tall for a wildflower, reaching up to 5 feet, and often found growing in large patches along water sources.


Find a trail to explore Mount Rainier's meadows!

Wildflower Reports

  • Spray Park (8/10): arrowleaf groundsel, fireweed, grays lovage, tall larkspur, alpine aster, lupine, magenta paintbrush, pink mountain heather, bistort, bracted lousewort, mountain bog gentian, slender bog orchid, saxifrage
  • Mowich Lake (8/10): mountain bog gentian, grays lovage, alpine aster, arrowleaf groundsel
  • Paradise (8/6): Trails in Peak Bloom: Nisqually Vista (open Fri-Sun), Golden Gate, Myrtle Falls, west Skyline, lower Deadhorse Creek, Moraine, East Skyline to Mazama Ridge, Mazama Ridge
  • Sunrise (8/6): Trails in Peak Bloom: Berkeley Park, Sunrise Rim to Shadow Lake, Glacier Overlook
  • Paradise Valley Road (8/1): sitka valerian (peak!), magenta paintbrush, scarlet paintbrush, columbine, thistle, lupine, Cascade aster, alpine aster, alpine daisy, arnica, arrowleaf groundsel, gray's lovage, bistort, early: sitka mountain ash, false hellebore, rosy spirea, pearly everlasting,
Please Note: As snow melts away, it may be tempting to skirt remaining 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 trail even if that means crossing snow, particularly in the high-visitation meadows around Paradise and Sunrise.
Mountain Bog Gentian
Mountain Bog Gentian

NPS Photo

Wildflower Photos
The photos featured here are usually taken by park staff and volunteers from all over the park. Share your own wildflower photos in the Mount Rainier Flickr group! Higher resolution versions of wildflower photos are available on Mount Rainier's Flickr page.

Plan Your Visit
Paradise
and
Sunrise are two of the main visitor center areas at Mount Rainier National Park. Both areas are well known for their impressive wildflower meadows. The park also maintains dozens of trails perfect for wildflower viewing.

Last updated: August 17, 2017

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Ashford, WA 98304

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