Mount Rainier National Park

Mount Rainier National Park

Activities & Programs

Throughout the year, you can enjoy numerous activities, from nature walks and fishing to cross-country skiing and snowshoeing. Certain activities and programs may have been affected by the flood. Always check at a visitor center to confirm times and availability of programs. 


Park Programs

NPS naturalists offer several interpretive walks and talks, slide shows, films and guided nature and history walks. Evening campfire programs are held at White River, Paradise, Cougar Rock Campground and Ohanapecosh in the summer. Consult the park newspaper, The Tahoma News, or bulletin boards for times and topics.

Educator's Guide

Where the River Begins, an educator's guide to the Nisqually River and adjacent old-growth forests in the park, contains activity information, student worksheets and resource materials. A CD-Rom version is also available.

Boating and Fishing

Anglers can try their luck fishing the park's many streams and rivers, but fish are not plentiful because populations are natural and not stocked. Anglers are asked to use barbless hooks and artificial lures. No licenses are required for boating or fishing within the park. Washington State fishing regulations do apply, however, and copies are available at visitor centers or ranger stations. Only nonmotorized boats are allowed on park waters. On some lakes, boating and fishing are prohibited. Check at visitor centers for regulations.


Five campgrounds offer a total of almost 600 developed campsites, in addition to backcountry sites. For details, please see "Camping".

Guided Tours

Let someone else do the driving; take a bus tour. Not only will you discover the park, but you will also learn about its history, wildlife, plants and American Indian heritage. Gray Line of Seattle offers bus tours to the park, from mid-spring to mid-fall, that depart from the Sheraton Hotel in Seattle. For more information and to make reservations, call (800) 426-7532 or (206) 626-5208.


Please see "Walking & Hiking" for details.

Horseback Riding

Stock use in the park is limited. Contact the park to receive stock use information.

Mountain Climbing

For more than a century, mountain climbers have been drawn to the towering summit of Mount Rainier. Almost all American mountaineering expeditions train here because of the challenges of its steep slopes and glaciers. Going to the top is rigorous and dangerous, and requires proper equipment and training. All climbers going above 10,000 feet or climbing on glaciers must obtain a climbing permit. Guide services, including one-day climbing instruction, two-day summit climbs and five-day seminars are available through Rainier Mountaineering, Inc. (RMI) and several other guide services. You must be in good shape to climb Mount Rainier because the trip is physically strenuous. RMI conducts guided climbs and related seminars. If you intend to go climbing with a guide, make sure that you register at the Nisqually entrance from 8:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. Call (360) 569-2227 for more information. Guides for the Emmons Glacier Route include Alpine Ascents International (206) 378-1927 and International Mountain Guides (360) 569-2609.

Just For Kids

See "Just For Kids" for fun activities for kids.


Bicycles are permitted on paved roads and campgrounds (roads only), and are prohibited in the backcountry and on all trails except West Side Road. Cycling in Mount Rainier is not recommended because roads are narrow and curved; consequently, they can have limited visibility.

Winter Activities

Winter is the time to discover the hushed world of Mount Rainier when tracks in the snow reveal the path of a fox hunting or a rabbit fleeing. It is a time of sleep for many animals including marmots and black bears. Others, such as the white-tailed ptarmigan and snowshoe hare, stay active; you may see signs of their passing in the snow. Snow hides high-country meadows and transforms the lowland forest into a secretive world. Above it all rises Mount Rainier, blanketed in white. 

All roads into the park are closed except those from Nisqually to Paradise and Carbon River Road if road conditions allow. Please call (360) 569-2211 for road and weather information.

Park Programs

Park rangers lead guided snowshoe walks on weekends from late December through early April. The walks leave from the Henry M. Jackson Memorial Visitor Center at Paradise. Check at the visitor center or in the park newspaper, The Tahoma News, for times. 

Winter Sports

Paradise is the center for snow play, offering snowshoeing, telemarking and cross-country skiing. The Ski Touring Center at Longmire is open daily from mid-December to April, depending on the park's snow conditions. Please call (360) 569-2411 for cross-country ski rentals and lessons. Snowboarding and tubing are allowed only at the Paradise snow play area when sufficient snow has accumulated to protect underlying vegetation. Rentals are not available.

Note: Activities and times listed were current at press time but are subject to change. Call ahead (see "" for telephone numbers) or check the park newspaper or web page for current schedules and information.