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 usually have a Mt. Rainier program every Monday at Alta Crystal Resort, and park rangers 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.
Although we're closest to the Sunrise area, it's actually easy to explore the whole Park from here:
- Sunrise: 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. The turnoff to Sunrise is just 6 miles from here, and from there, it's 16 miles to the top. But there are many trails to explore along the way -- including some of our favorites from the White River Campground. Sunrise has a Visitor Center and Day Lodge with a cafeteria and gift shop, and also daily interpretive hikes during summer months. Click here to visit our Sunrise page.
- Ohanapecosh: The Ohanapecosh area is about 20-25 minutes south of here, and is famous for the Grove of the Patriarchs, a stand of 1000 year old trees, and Silver Falls, the Park's largest volume waterfall. But there are some other really cool places to explore. It also has a Visitor Center. Click here for our Ohanapecosh page.
- Chinook Pass/Tipsoo Lake: The Chinook Pass/Tipsoo Lake area is about a 15-minute drive from here, and offers spectacular views of Mt. Rainier. The basin at Tipsoo Lake tends to catch a lot of snow, so in the early summer, you can actually still snowshoe up here -- but as the snow melts, it will have some of the most beautiful wildflowers in the Park! Clck here for our Chinook Pass page.
- Paradise: Paradise is 50 miles from here. It tends to get very crowded during summer months, and most of our guests tell us they much prefer "our" side of the Park. But, on the other hand, it has a great name so many guests will visit both areas. If you drive straight there, you can make it in about 1 hour and 15 minutes, but many people stop at scenic viewpoints along the way. Coming back via the Paradise Valley Road is usually much quicker, and some guests have told us they've made in back in less than an hour.
The Blog section of our website also features lots of pictures of some of our favorite hikes -- and, if you like us on Facebook, you can stay in the know about the latest news and adventures.