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.
  • Wildflower photo galleries - Collections of subalpine and forest wildflowers.
  • Wildflower video gallery - Preview Mount Rainier's blooming wildflower meadows by watching these short videos.
  • The Seasons of Mount Rainier - View short videos 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.

A tree branch with numerous bright green young leaves. Hanging under the leaves are clusters of small white flowers with red sepals.
Blooming vine maple in Longmire, 5/21/24.

NPS Photo

Currently Blooming

Last Updated: May 23, 2024

Spring is creeping up the mountain! Snow still wraps the mid-to-high elevations of the park, but at low elevations early season wildflowers are beginning to bloom.

Trees might not what you typically picture when thinking of “wildflowers”, but there are several species of blooming trees found in the park. Vine maple (Acer circinatum) is one of the most common. This small tree is found in the understory of Mount Rainier’s forests, growing long vine-like branches to reach patches of light. Its bright green leaves in spring or yellow-red foliage in fall are pops of color in the shadowy forest. Vine maple blooms hang in clusters under the new spring leaves. The small flowers are white but have red sepals (protective outer part of the flower) that fold back like petals.

NOTE: Always check current trail conditions before heading out!

Please stay on the trails. 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 the trail even if that means crossing snow, particularly in the high-visitation meadows around Paradise and Sunrise. Also, there are plenty of opportunities for the perfect mountain + wildflower photo from the trails! No need to step off trail and crush other flowers in your quest for the perfect shot.


Wildflower Reports

  • Nisqually Entrance to Longmire (5/22) - holly-leaf Oregon-grape, coltsfoot, trillium, skunk cabbage, yellow violets, salmonberry
  • Longmire (5/21) - vine maple, yellow violets, skunk cabbage, trillium, coltsfoot, Calypso orchids, holly-leaf Oregon-grape, wild strawberry (early)
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: May 23, 2024

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