Spring & Early Summer at Mt. Rainier National Park

The Spring and Early Summer are fabulous times to visit Mt. Rainier National Park.  You're before the summer crowds, so you'll often feel like you have the trails to yourselves -- and it's a much more authentic Pacific Northwest experience.

If you're planning to visit from late-June through September, please visit our Summer Activities page

Cayuse Pass is now open, as is the Sunrise Road to the White River Campground and the Stevens Canyon Road to Paradise.  Chinook Pass opens June 9. 

    Click here to check the most current road openings on the Mt. Rainier National Park website. 

    There are lots of snow-free trails to explore at lower elevations, but you will encounter snow as you climb.  We have maps and suggestions in our office when you check in, as we want you to love this area as much as we do.  Keep in mind that one of the things we love most about "our" side of Mt. Rainier is the fact that this whole area is either national forest or national park -- so no matter where you go, you'll have a true mountain experience.

    TRAILS TO ENJOY NOW:

    • The Ohanapecosh area is just about 25 minutes south of here, and has the Park's largest volume waterfall (Silver Falls) and a beautiful grove of 1000-year old trees (The Grove of the Patriarchs).   These trails are snow-free.
    • We love the Lower Eastside Trail with waterfall after waterfall after waterfall.  We usually use the trailhead near Deer Creek and hike south towards the Ohanapecosh. This trail is mostly snow-free.
    • The Crystal Lakes trailhead is about 4 miles from here and is a popular trail with locals.  Great views of Mt. Rainier along the way, but quite a bit of elevation gain.   The Shriner Peak trail is on the south side of Cayuse Pass, and is a great hike/snowshoe to awesome views.   Both these trails will have snow as you climb.
    • From the White River Campground, explore the Emmons Moraine Trail,  or continue further to explore Glacier Basin.  This is the route climbers take from this side, with great views of Mt. Rainier and the White River.  Snow on both trails but the lower sections are melting rapidly. 
    • On the way to the White River Campground, you'll pass trailheads for Owyhigh Lakes and Summerland.  Owyhigh Lakes is a beautiful trail -- no mountain views but gorgeous lakes.  Summerland is considered a classic trail and people come from around the world just to hike it.  Both trails still have snow.
    • The drive to Paradise is absolutely gorgeous, through Stevens Canyon & Box Canyon, and many think this is the most scenic way to drive to Paradise.  There are great hikes and snowshoe spots on the way to Paradise.  Snow Lake & Bench Lake are two of our favorites, as is the walk/snowshoe around Reflection Lakes. 
    • Click here to read about our favorite trails in the National Forest. 

    Available when Chinook Pass (Highway 410 to/from Eastern Washington) opens:

    We love going up to Chinook Pass in the spring for snowshoeing, sledding and playing in the snow!  Check out the separate section in spring activities for lots of ideas.  Oh, by the way, the views of Mt. Rainier from Chinook Pass are incredible!  The trail to Sheep Lake tends to melt out quickly.

    The road to the top of Sunrise is scheduled to open June 30 if not sooner.  The Sunrise Road beyond the White River Campground is already plowed 6 miles up, so only 4 more miles to go.  (Update as of 6/2.)  Communities on this side of Mt. Rainier are working with Mt. Rainier National Park to try to get this road open as soon as possible. We are hopeful for an earlier opening.  Stay tuned.

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