Mount Rainier National Park

Fact Box

Mount Rainier National Park
Established 1899
235,625 acres
Visitation (2010) 1,113,601

You’ve seen pictures of Mount Rainier, the snow-capped peak that provides such a stunning backdrop to the Seattle skyline. Isn’t it time you took a closer look?

Mount Rainier National Park is just an hour’s drive from the city, but it feels much further away. This is what they mean when they say “wilderness.”

The volcano that dominates the park has held its fiery breath for 150 years. The forests, parkland, wetlands, lakes, and rivers harbor dozens of species of birds, animals, reptiles, and fish.

Visit in spring, when the wildflowers burst like gems across the hillsides. Visit in summer, when the air is warm and the sun glints off the glaciers. Visit in fall, when the leaves turn the color of fire. Visit in winter, when you’ll feel like you have the park to yourself.

You’ll find services at Paradise, Sunrise, Longmire, Ohanapecosh, and Carbon/Mowich. Grab a map and take a scenic drive or set off on foot—there are 260 miles of hiking trails. Join the exclusive but growing club of visitors who’ve reached the mountain’s summit.

As Nietzsche said, “He who climbs upon the highest mountains, laughs at all tragedies, real or imaginary.”