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Mount Rainier National Park is a landscape born of fire and ice, the park encompasses the magnificent volcano with its mantle of snowfields and glaciers, sub-alpine areas and dense forests. Read more about the park, the volcano, and the scenic highlights.
Current Mount Rainier Recreational Forecast
From the National Weather Service in Seattle. Not a glamorous page, but good information including temperatures for three elevations.
Mount Rainier wrings a prodigious amount of snow from the air currents that flow incessantly off the Pacific Ocean. Snowfall is heaviest from Paradise (often enough to bury the three-story Inn up to its roof) up to the 9,500-foot level. At that height, the mountain rears above the wet maritime air masses and the amount of snowfall decreases. The result of all this snow, is that you can take advantage of one of the longest skiing seasons in the United States.
Mount Rainier is the highest peak in the Cascades and highest point in Washington state. Just how high depends on who is taking the measurements. The US Geological Survey measurement from 1956 of 14,410 feet (4,392 meters), was recently surpassed by the satellite measurement of 14,411.1 feet taken by the Land Surveyors Association of Washington. The mountain looms nearly 8,000 feet (2,500 meters) higher than anything nearby. Lowest point in the park is in the Carbon River rainforest at 1,800 feet.
More than 2 million.
Nisqually, the park's south entrance up to Paradise is open year round and accessible from US 12, WA 7 and WA 706. Chains might be required for winter driving. The northeast entrance is accessible on a seasonal basis via WA 410. The Steven's Canyon Entrance on the east, is accessible on a seasonal basis via WA 123. The White River Entrance on the northeast, is accessible on a seasonal basis via WA 412. The Carbon River Entrance on the northwest, is accessible on a seasonal basis via WA 123.
Seatac International Airport is about 65 miles north of the park. Services include Big Sky Airlines, Delta Airlines, Horizon Airlines.
Daily service from SeaTac International Airport. Phone: 360-569-0851.
Buses and Shuttles
Grayline runs buses from Seattle or Tacoma to the park from mid-spring to mid-fall. (800-426-7532)
Carbon River Ranger Station (Wilderness and climbing information). Phone: 360-829-9639.
Henry M. Jackson Memorial Visitor Center. Phone: 360-569-6571.
Located at Paradise. Exhibits on geology, glaciers, flora, fauna, and mountain climbing. Open year-round with winter months open on weekends only.
Longmire Wilderness Information Center (Wilderness and climbing information). Phone: 360-569-6650.
Ohanapecosh Visitor Center. Phone 360-569-6581.
Located at Ohanapecosh within the lowland forest area, exhibits tell the story of the old-growth forest and local history.
Paradise Guide House (Climbing Information Center,
climbers self register at Old Palouse Ranger Station). Phone:
When Elaine Longmire's wife first saw the sub-alpine meadow at Longmire, she exclaimed "This must be what Paradise is like!" The name remains today. Many trails radiate from here, including access to the Wonderland Trail.
Sunrise Visitor Center. Phone: 360-663-2425.
Located at the highest point (6,400 feet) in the park accessible by car. Offers perhaps the most sweeping road views of the mountain, and the string of volcanic peaks towering above the Cascade Range. It lies in the rain shadow of Rainier, and is thus drier than Paradise. Exhibits focus on the sub-alpine and alpine environments. Viewing telescopes for looking at the slopes and glaciers.
White River Wilderness Information Center (Wilderness and climbing information). Phone: 360-569-6670.
The park's newspaper. Information on naturalist walks and other activities.
Best selection of books on the Northwest.
The Measure of a Mountain: Beauty and Terror on Mount Rainier by Bruce Barcott. Mount Rainier, North America's biggest volcano, looms over Seattle like an invitation to... adventure? Disaster? Discovery? It's all of the above for Bruce Barcott, a Seattle writer who captures the mountain from multiple angles in this luminous biography that defines Rainier's landscape to be like none other on the continent. Order now...
Mt. Rainier: Adventures and Views by John Harlin III and James Martin. Get up close and personal with the of Mount Rainier. Photographer James Martin captures the awesome beauty of this majestic peak, from its icy glaciers to its lush alpine meadows, while climber and writer John Harlin provides engrossing accounts of adventure on the mountain. Order now...
Washington's Mount Rainier National Park: A Centennial Celebration by Tim McNulty and Pat O'Hara. In this official book, O'Hara and McNulty view the mountain through all its facets: from the geologic and climatic forces that continue to shape it, the rich legacy of humans' relationship with it and its delicate ecosystems. Order now...
Adventure Guide to Mount Rainier: Hiking, Climbing and Skiing in Mt. Rainier National Park by Jeff Smoot. Includes descriptions of tourist trails, nature trails, off-trail hiking, bike routes, minor peak scrambling, skiing and snowshoeing areas, and of course, summit routes. Order now...
Mount Rainier: A Climbing Guide 2nd Edition by Mike Gauthier. From the Lead Climbing Ranger for Mt Rainier National Park. The latest information on logistics, regulations and permits. Expanded material on understanding and surmounting Rainier's glaciers, tips on selecting a guide service, mountaineering training sites around Rainier and bonus routes on adjacent Little Tahoma. Order now...
Mountaineering: Freedom of the Hills: 50th Anniversary by Ronald C. Eng. From choosing equipment to tying a climbing knot, from basic rappelling techniques to planning an expedition, it is all here in this mountaineering reference. A team of experts, all active climbers and climbing educators, reviewed, revised, and updated this compendium to reflect the latest in mountaineering equipment and techniques. Order now...
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