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5 Things You Need To Know

Getting to the park

To get to Mount Rainier National Park, you have a few entrances to choose from:

Nisqually Entrance: This entrance is in the southwest corner of the park and is about 89 miles from Seattle.

Chinook Entrance Arch (summer only): You'll find this entrance on the east side of the park, and it's about 87 miles from Seattle. Please note it's only open in the summer.

SR410 North Entrance Arch (summer only): Located on the northeast side of the park, this entrance is about 75 miles from Seattle. Like the Chinook entrance, it's also open only in the summer.

It's important to know that road conditions can change with the seasons, and there may be closures. For the most current information on road conditions and park access, it's a good idea to contact the park directly or check their website. 

MT Rainier National Park Hours and Seasons

Mount Rainier National Park is open 24 hours a day, all year round, which means you can visit anytime you like. However, it's essential to be aware that park buildings, such as visitor centers and facilities, have varying hours depending on the season. If you're planning to visit during the summer months, particularly in July and August, it's important to note that these are the busiest times to explore the park. The higher number of visitors during this period can cause more crowded conditions and limited parking availability at popular attractions. To make the most of your visit, consider arriving early in the day or exploring less crowded areas of the park. To ensure you have the most up-to-date information about park building hours and any special events or closures, it's a good idea to check the park's official website or contact them directly before your visit. 

Mount Rainier National Park Visitor Center

The Henry M. Jackson Memorial Visitor Center at MT Rainier National Park has varying hours depending on the season:

Summer Season (Usually May-October):

The visitor center is open daily during the summer season. This typically covers the months of May through October. You can expect to find general information about the park, exhibits, a gift shop, and a cafeteria available during this time.

Winter Season (Weekends and Holidays):

In the winter, the visitor center operates on a reduced schedule and is only open on weekends and holidays.

These operating hours may vary from year to year, so it's a good idea to check the park to verify the visitor center is open. This information is also available on their website. 


If you're interested in hiking at Mount Rainier National Park, here are some featured hikes you might want to explore:

Trail of the Shadows (0.7 mile loop): This short loop trail is perfect for a leisurely walk. It takes you by a rustic cabin, boardwalks, springs, and offers opportunities to observe wildlife. It's a great option for a family outing or a quick nature stroll.

Nisqually Vista Trail (1.2 mile loop): Located in the Paradise area, this loop trail provides high-elevation views of Mount Rainier and the Nisqually Glacier. It's a relatively short hike with stunning vistas, making it a popular choice for visitors looking for panoramic views.

Hot Springs Nature Trail (0.5 mile loop): Found in the Ohanapecosh area, this short loop trail meanders through a beautiful forest of large Douglas firs. Along the way, you'll come across hot springs, adding a unique natural element to your hike.

Chenuis Falls Trail (7.4 miles round trip): If you're up for a longer adventure, the Chenuis Falls Trail offers a 7.4-mile round trip hike. This trail rewards hikers with views of Chenuis Falls. Be prepared to use foot logs to cross the Carbon River, adding a bit of excitement to the journey.

Before embarking on any of these hikes, it's a good idea to check trail conditions and be prepared with appropriate gear, including comfortable hiking shoes, water, and clothing suitable for the weather. Additionally, consider your physical fitness level when choosing a hike, as trail lengths and difficulties vary.

Lodging & Camping

If you're planning to stay overnight in Mount Rainier National Park, you have a few lodging options to choose from:

National Park Inn (Longmire Historic District):

Located in the Longmire Historic District, the National Park Inn offers 25 guest rooms. The inn includes a dining room and a general store for your convenience. It's open year-round, making it a great choice for both summer and winter visits.

Paradise Inn:

Paradise Inn is situated at an elevation of 5,420 feet, providing stunning views of the surrounding area.

It has 121 guest rooms and offers amenities such as a gift shop, post office, cafe, and dining room. Typically, it's open from May to October, so it's an excellent option for the summer and early fall seasons.

In addition to these lodging options, Mount Rainier National Park also provides camping opportunities:

Car Campgrounds:

The park offers three car campgrounds for those who prefer a more traditional camping experience.

These campgrounds typically provide facilities like restrooms, picnic tables, and fire rings.

Wilderness Camping:

For those seeking a more backcountry experience, Mount Rainier National Park offers wilderness camping.

Permits are usually required for wilderness camping, and you'll need to follow park regulations for Leave No Trace principles to protect the natural environment.

Other Nearby Attractions





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