View Map

Overview

The gray of winter can seem endless in the Puget Sound area. Then one day, the skies open up to reveal a 14,410-foot mountain of snow and ice gleaming in the sunshine above the cities of Seattle and Tacoma. You'll be forgiven for standing with your mouth agape. Mount Rainier, locally referred to as "the mountain," is the highest peak in the Cascade Range and rises more than 13,200 feet from it's base just 54 miles southeast of Seattle and the waters of Puget Sound. Much of the mountain is federally protected as Mount Rainier National Park and most of that is maintained as wilderness.

In under two hours driving from Seattle, ...

The gray of winter can seem endless in the Puget Sound area. Then one day, the skies open up to reveal a 14,410-foot mountain of snow and ice gleaming in the sunshine above the cities of Seattle and Tacoma. You'll be forgiven for standing with your mouth agape. Mount Rainier, locally referred to as "the mountain," is the highest peak in the Cascade Range and rises more than 13,200 feet from it's base just 54 miles southeast of Seattle and the waters of Puget Sound. Much of the mountain is federally protected as Mount Rainier National Park and most of that is maintained as wilderness.

In under two hours driving from Seattle, Tacoma or Olympia, you can enter an alpine landscape that is unique in the U.S. In a day trip, it's possible to have a look at one or more of at least 26 glaciers, walk in an old growth forest, catch the spray of dramatic waterfalls, and just sit in awe of this quiet, yet living volcano.

Winter in the park is a very special time. Snowfall comes early and heavy throughout the park, and while only entrances at the southwest and northwest corners of the park remain open, winter recreational activities are abundant. Enjoy ranger-guided snowshoe walks, cross-country skiing and snowboarding. At historic Paradise Lodge, a snow play area is open for sledding and sliding. For the well prepared, winter treks and snow-camping take the hardiest deep into the wildness of winter. Anyone heading into the park in the winter should be sure to check road and weather conditions first.

Myra Ingmanson
About the Expert

Myra Ingmanson and Daniel C. Schechter worked together on various titles for Lonely Planet, particularly the Pacific Northwest and Mexico books. Together they coauthored chapters for Lonely Planet's Eastern Caribbean.

view full overview

Myra Ingmanson for Triporati

Compare Flight, Car Rental, and Hotel Rates

Note: A new window will open for each site you select.

Note: A new window will open for each site you select.

Note: A new window will open for each site you select.

Facts at a Glance

  • Location: 54 miles southeast of Seattle, the National Park is centered on the spectacular cone of Mount Rainier, a dormant volcano some 14,410 ft high.
  • Research: Wikitravel | Wikipedia
  • Weather: Daylight | Rainfall
  • Current Time:

Climate

  • Best Time to Visit:

    Mid October to March