Winter at Mount Rainier
The mountain's landscape undergoes a dramatic transformation in winter. Its colorful subalpine meadows and lush old growth forests are draped with a thick blanket of snow for much of the year. The sometimes dusty appearing glaciers are freshly covered in white and the snow-covered roofs of the rustic historic buildings are rimmed with icicles, creating a picture perfect setting.
The snow play area is open for sledding when enough snow is on the ground to protect vegetation at Paradise. Other activities at Paradise include crosscounty skiing, winter camping, and snowboarding.Winter Travel
Most of Mount Rainier's roads are closed for winter. The road from Nisqually Entrance to Longmire is open year-round, but may close during extreme weather. The road between Longmire and Paradise closes nightly in winter and reopens in the morning once the road has been plowed. Icy or snowy roads, poor visibility due to weather, and the chance of wildlife along roads can make winter travel challenging. Learn more about how to travel to Mount Rainier during winter.
Prepare & Take Care
Dress Warmly & Stay Dry
Pay Attention to the Weather
When hiking, climbing, skiing, or snowboarding bring the Winter 10 Essentials listed on the Winter Safety page and know how to use them. In addition, obtain compass bearings to Camp Muir or other off-trail destinations; carry an altimeter; wear rain- and wind-resistant clothing; and take a whistle, a "space blanket", and a snow shovel.
If you are not truly knowledgeable and prepared, or if the weather is questionable, don't push your luck!
Please keep your food away from wildlife. Pick up food particles and don't leave your lunch on your bumper- a fox or jay will find it. And lastly, please don't feed the wildlife- it's bad for them, and it's bad for you- feeding wildlife is illegal and you may be fined. Learn more about how to Keep Wildlife Wild.
Last updated: October 4, 2016