Explore Mt. Rainier National Park
The snow is melting rapidly this year, and there are already so many places to explore.
NEWS FLASH: The Sunrise road to the top will be open June 20-22, and daily starting June 27. There are incredible views from the parking lot (and the drive up—make sure to stop at Sunrise Point). You should be able to do the short Emmons Vista walk from the parking lot in hiking boots—a perfect Kodak moment. For other trails, at the beginning, you’ll probably want snowshoes. (We have them for rent for $20/day.)
The Sunrise road to the White River Campground is already open:
- Glacier Basin Trail: This trail starts from the White River Campground and is the route climbers take to the summit from this side of Mt. Rainier. The first part of this trail goes to the Emmons Moraine and is complete snow-free (great views of Mt. Rainier and the Emmons Glacier, the largest glacier in the lower 48.) The Glacier Basin trail has snow towards the end but is hikable with good boots and trekking poles. Click here.
Other Favorite Springtime Trails.
- Grove of the Patriarchs: This is, hands down, our favorite springtime trail. The Grove of the Patriarchs is a stand of 1000 year old trees on an island in the Ohanapecosh River. They’ve managed to survive forest fires through the years and it’s hard to believe that they were alive when the Magna Carta was signed. This short trail is great for all ages, and kids will love going across the suspension bridge! Click here.
- Silver Falls:In the spring, you’ll hear this waterfall long before you see it. Silver Falls is the largest volume waterfall in Mt. Rainier National Park, and the springtime snow melt makes it a sight to behold. You can either hike to Silver Falls from the same parking lot as the Grove of the Patriarchs (about a mile roundtrip) or take a short .3 mile (each way) hike from Highway 123. Click here.
- Eastside Trail: Although you might find a patch or two of snow, this trail is virtually snow free. It has miles and miles of gorgeous waterfalls, bridges and forest trails. You can actually start at the small trailhead near Deer Creek and hike its entire 11-mile length (one way), or just hike a small section of it and turn around when you get tired. Gorgeous!
- Crystal Lakes Trail and Shriner Peak Trail: The trailhead for Crystal Lakes is just about 5 miles from here, while the trailhead for Shriner Peak is on the other side of Cayuse Pass. What they have in common? Lots of switchbacks, snow and gorgeous views of Mt. Rainier Crystal Lakes is already snow-free to the lower lake. Shriner Peak is about 4 miles each way, and the first 3 miles are already snow-free.
Chinook Pass is also now open.
- Chinook Pass/Tipsoo Lake: This is our favorite area to snowshoe in the spring, and the area past the pedestrian overpass is fun for spring sledding. (Note that sledding is not allowed around Tipsoo Lake since it’s part of the National Park.).
AND DON’T FORGET: One of the things we like most about our side of the Park is the fact that this whole area is either National Forest or National Park. So the topography, flora and fauna are similar no matter where you go. Someone just drew an arbitrary line, and designated one side National Forest and one side National Park! So be sure to check with us for some other great springtime adventures!