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Mount Rainier National Park

Vacation Travel Guide
Mount Rainier National Park featuring forests and tranquil scenes

So big they created a national park in its name, Mount Rainier’s massive snow-capped volcanic cone is clearly visible from Seattle.

Mount Rainier is famous for providing a stunning backdrop to the skyline of Seattle, and this huge volcano holds a treasure at its base: a beautiful national park.

The mountain itself rises to over 14,000 feet (almost 4,400 meters), and the peak is permanently covered in snow. Mount Rainier is a major source of the region’s water, with 25 major glaciers and huge snowfields that melt every spring.

The surrounding national park covers 238 square miles (616 square kilometers). It’s a designated Wilderness Area with alpine meadows, forests, streams and stunning waterfalls. Take a walk along any of the 260 miles (416 kilometers) of maintained trails to really appreciate the vast beauty of the area.

For an easy hike with the family, try the 20-minute Trail of the Shadows, which starts near the National Park Inn at Longmire. Another easy hike is the Twin Firs Loop Trail. You’ll pass through an old-growth forest with impressive examples of western red cedars, Douglas firs and other native trees. There are dozens of easy and more serious hikes that can be achieved in a few hours or a day. Wind through the range of habitats in the park, from blossom-filled meadows to huge glaciers. If you are an experienced hiker, take a multi-day hike to the summit with experienced guides.

Outdoor enthusiasts can also enjoy mountain biking, rock climbing, fishing, sledding and cross-country skiing. The Visitor Center at Paradise has plenty of practical and educational information about the mountain and the national park. It is open every day from May to early October, as well as weekends and holidays outside these times.

The park is circled by a road and if you don't have a lot of time you can simply drive around it. There are plenty of stops along the way to enjoy views or take a short walk.

If a day trip to Mount Rainier National Park leaves you wanting more, consider booking a room at the National Park Inn at Longmire or the Paradise Inn within the park. There are also several campgrounds within the national park.

Mount Rainier National Park is around a 90-mile (144-kilometer) drive from Seattle. Although it’s open year-round, snow blocks many of the routes such as SR410, SR123 and the Stevens Canyon Road from mid-October until June. Winter visitors will generally find the 12-mile (19-kilometer) stretch of road from Longmire to Paradise open during the day unless there is an avalanche threat.

Top Hotels Close to Mount Rainier National Park

Gateway Inn
Gateway Inn
3 out of 5
38820 State Route 706 East, Ashford, WA
The price is $149 per night from Aug 18 to Aug 18
Situated in the historical district, this cabin is 0.1 mi (0.2 km) from Mount Rainier National Park and within 12 mi (20 km) of Longmire Museum and Ex-Nihilo ...
3.4/5Good! (767 reviews)
"Friendly staff. All concerns answered and provided for promptly."

Reviewed on Aug 3, 2021

Gateway Inn
Paradise Inn
Paradise Inn
3 out of 5
52807 Paradise Rd E, Paradise, WA
Situated in Paradise, this hotel is within a 10-minute walk of Cascade Range and Mount Rainier. Henry Jackson Visitor Center and Paradise Loop are also within ...
4.3/5Excellent! (59 reviews)
"Gorgeous views, friendly staff from all over the world. The food was a tad expensive but when you’re the only restaurant I guess you can charge what you want."

Reviewed on Sep 28, 2019

Paradise Inn
National Park Inn
National Park Inn
2.5 out of 5
47009 Paradise Rd E, Longmire, WA
The price is $308 per night from Sep 2 to Sep 2
Situated in Longmire, this hotel is steps from Cascade Range and Longmire Museum. Gifford Pinchot National Forest is 1.5 mi (2.3 km) away.
3.9/5Good! (53 reviews)
"Perfect for a historic inn. No cell phone service, which was totally fine. Immaculately clean. Only issue was on the last day when they refused to let us order breakfast 10 minutes before service time ended. SO RUDE. This is a big deal because the next closest place is ~30 minutes drive. Also, food ..."

Reviewed on Jun 10, 2021

National Park Inn
Lowest nightly price found within the past 24 hours based on a 1 night stay for 2 adults. Prices and availability subject to change. Additional terms may apply.

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Best Lodging Options Near Mount Rainier National Park

Gateway Inn
Gateway Inn
3 out of 5
38820 State Route 706 East, Ashford, WA
The price is $149 per night from Aug 18 to Aug 18
Gateway Inn
Paradise Inn
Paradise Inn
3 out of 5
52807 Paradise Rd E, Paradise, WA
Paradise Inn
National Park Inn
National Park Inn
2.5 out of 5
47009 Paradise Rd E, Longmire, WA
The price is $308 per night from Sep 2 to Sep 2
National Park Inn
Crystal Mountain Hotels
Crystal Mountain Hotels
3 out of 5
33818 Crystal Mountain Blvd., Enumclaw, WA
Crystal Mountain Hotels
Crystal Chalets Condominiums at Crystal Mountain Ski Resort
Crystal Chalets Condominiums at Crystal Mountain Ski Resort
3 out of 5
33613 Crystal Mountain Blvd, Crystal Mountain, Enumclaw, WA
Crystal Chalets Condominiums at Crystal Mountain Ski Resort
Cowlitz River Lodge
Cowlitz River Lodge
2.5 out of 5
13069 US HWY 12, P.O. BOX 488, Packwood, WA
The price is $160 per night from Aug 22 to Aug 22
Cowlitz River Lodge
Alexander's Lodge
Alexander's Lodge
3 out of 5
37515 State Route 706 E, Ashford, WA
The price is $169 per night from Sep 2 to Sep 2
Alexander's Lodge
Nisqually Lodge
Nisqually Lodge
2.5 out of 5
PO Box 95, 31609 SR 706 E, Ashford, WA
The price is $210 per night from Aug 22 to Aug 22
Nisqually Lodge
Paradise Village Hotel
Paradise Village Hotel
2.5 out of 5
31811 WA-706, Ashford, WA
The price is $199 per night from Aug 18 to Aug 18
Paradise Village Hotel
Lowest nightly price found within the past 24 hours based on a 1 night stay for 2 adults. Prices and availability subject to change. Additional terms may apply.