Summer At Mt. Rainier National Park

We feel so lucky to be located just 1 mile outside the northeast entrance to this incredible National Park.  We’re the closest accommodations to the Sunrise area, but it’s easy to explore the whole park from here.

It’s great that your entry fee is good for a week since there’s so much to do.  When you check in, you’ll find a comprehensive Guest Information book with descriptions and pictures of our favorite trails, plus we have lots of maps in the office.  We also have Mt. Rainier interpretive programs a couple of times a week week at Alta Crystal Resort, and park rangers also offer daily interpretive walks at the various visitors centers.  All of us who work at Alta Crystal Resort are also huge mountain fans, so we can help you plan your days as well.

Those of us who live around here love the Sunrise area.  It’s the highest point to which you can drive in all the Cascades (6400 feet—1000 feet higher than Paradise) and has Mt. Rainier’s most panoramic views and hikes.  (Just so you know, the picture on the map you receive when you enter the Park was taken from Sunrise!)  Tour buses also don’t like to take the winding road up to Sunrise, meaning fewer crowds and more of an authentic Pacific Northwest experience.  In fact, many of the rangers at Mt. Rainier take their families to Sunrise when they visit from out of town:

There are a visitors center, a cafeteria and gift shop at Sunrise, and you could easily spend days or weeks exploring this area.  You can also use us a base to explore all through the Park.The Ohanapecosh area is just about 20-30 minutes south of here, and Paradise is just a little over an hour’s drive away (depending on how many stops you make)! 

The Sunrise Road to the White River Campground (half way) is scheduled to open May 1 in 2015, with the road to the top opening June 5. The Day Lodge and Visitor Center are scheduled to open June 27.  If you’re coming a little earlier in the summer, don’t let any of these dates deter you!  We are having an early spring and,  as you’ll see, we can recommend dozens and dozens of hikes throughout the year!  Please feel free to check with us for updated conditions or click here for the hikes we recommend in the early season. 

Please visit the blog section of our website for pictures and descriptions of some of our favorite trails in the Park.  The photo gallery also has some great pictures to get you excited!