Winter brings into focus a frosty view of the mountain. A winter wonderland, Paradise offers a plethera of winter recreational opportunities, for people of all ages. Snow gives the mountain a fresh look, while also offering a chilly invitation to crosscountry ski, snowshoe, snowboard, sled, or winter camp. An abundance of snow creates a winter recreation paradise, but also brings the challenges of icy, snowy roads, and unpredictable weather. The road to Paradise is plowed when possible to allow access. Spend hours at Paradise or add a stop in Longmire to make a full day of winter fun.
If winter recreation is your passion, look no further than Paradise. Everyone is welcome to explore this winter wonderland that has activities for all ages. As the colors of the mountain change from fall to winter, winter photography gets icy as the mountain is draped in snow. Once the snow is deep enough, crosscountry skiing, snowshoeing, snowboarding, and winter camping are adventures that can start from the edge of the Paradise parking lot. Whether you want to cruise down the mountain, take a slow stroll to capture winter photography, stay for a few hours or stay overnight, Paradise at Mount Rainier has something for you!
The Paradise sledding and sliding area is perfect for a family of all ages. The sledding area is located north of the upper parking lot. While beautiful, the greater Paradise area contains avalanche zones, unstable snow bridges and deceptively steep drop offs where sledding activities are unsafe. The official Paradise Sledding Area is the safest and only location that sledding is permitted in Mount Rainier National Park. The sledding area at Paradise is generally open late December through mid-March, depending on snow. Sledding runs are only opened when there’s sufficient snow depth to prevent resource damage. Use only inner tubes, plastic sleds, saucers, or other soft sliding devices. No wooden toboggans, runner sleds with metal edges, or other hard devices are permitted. Dress warmly in layers with wicking fabric. NOTE: The sledding area has NOT yet opened for the season (updated 11/23/21).
When you need to warm up head to the Jackson Visitor Center (access may be limited due to COVID-19 safety precautions) to check out the exhibits, watch the park film, or talk to a ranger. At the visitor center get information about trail conditions and permits to make sure you have what you need for your winter adventure.
Check Road Status or for the most updated road information check @MountRainierNPS on Twitter, no account necessary.
Avalanche Alert: Before starting out for the day, check the weather forecast and determine the avalanche hazard. Snow avalanches are common in winter and spring. The greatest danger to you is an avalanche that you trigger by skiing, snowboarding, snowshoeing, or climbing in avalanche terrain. Consider snowpack, weather, and topography in selecting your route. Ask yourself, “Will this slope slide?” and if it does, “Where will I or my partner go?” Even small avalanches can be deadly.
Pack accordingly: Carry an avalanche transceiver, probe, shovel and these 10 essentials.