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Fantastic Mount Rainier Hiking:
Grab Yourself
Some Hiking Joy!

Mount Rainier is a premier hiking destination. Make the most of your time with these Hiking For Her tips. #hiking #mountrainier #dayhikemtrainier

Mount Rainier hiking should be on your hiking bucket list.

Here's why:

  • Mt. Rainier hikes offer a diversity of landscapes that you aren't going to find anywhere else in North America.
  • Mt. Rainier National Park provides paved access to some stunning trailheads. And if you want to work a little harder, you can drive on good gravel roads to some "hidden gems" trailheads.
  • Day hikes can be done easily from nearby campgrounds and cabins.
  • Backpacking trips are arranged easily, but require permits.
  • Where else are you going to see this?? It's fantastic!
Gorgeous fall colors frame Mount Rainier from the Sunrise parking lotMount Rainier hiking in the fall is beyond gorgeous. And no biting insects!


Mount Rainier hiking:
pick your spot

There are multiple approaches to getting great views of this splendid volcano and its surrounding terrain.

In fact, Mt. Rainier National Park is broken into segments, and the hiking varies with the region you pick.

Longmire entrance

The Longmire entrance puts you on the road to Paradise (no, really!).

There you will find:

  • a seasonally operated lodge (rooms, dining room, gift shop, snack shop) and visitor center,
  • access to spectacular flower fields off paved pathways so easily accessible to all,
  • trailheads galore to rock, snow, ice, lakes and viewpoints.
Longmire National Park Headquarters at Mount RainierLongmire headquarters, Mt. Rainier National Park


Here's an example of a great day hike
at Mount Rainier

If waterfalls are your thing, don't pass up your chance to do a short 4 mile (round trip) day hike to Comet Falls.

  • Trail description and video here


Another easy option
to trailheads

The Sunrise entrance brings you to a more subdued visitor center, but mind blowingly gorgeous trails that get you up close and personal to some of Rainier's famous glaciers.

  • Glacier Basin offers you a day spent along the White River; check it out here.
  • The Burroughs Mountain trails (First, Second, Third) are highly recommended. Description, photos and video here
  • Summerland is also a worthy destination, so view the description and video here
  • Owyhigh Lakes hike is something a bit different; full description here


Lodging within the park

Either entrance gives you campground options.

Only the Longmire entrance provides "room and board" options:

  • Longmire Inn, at the base of the mountain
  • Paradise Lodge, at the top of the drive up the mountain's flank

Mount Rainier tip
from a local

Trying to drive all the way around the mountain in a day is a great way to miss what Mt. Rainier is all about.

Don't cheat yourself.

  • Budget several days at the bare minimum to soak up all the splendor.

Your best weather window will be late July through early September.


Hiking options

Your Mt. Rainier hiking options include:

  • One fantastic day hike while staying overnight at a lodge or campground in the park.
  • Serial day hikes, from the comfort of your base camp in a campground or a cabin outside the park boundaries.
  • Backpacking trip using the Wonderland Trail or various loops.

To get you started, here are 3 of my favorite Mount Rainier day hikes, and all the reasons why you should do them.

  • Click the photo for details!
Day hiking at Mount Rainier National Park is a fantastic experience. Need some suggestions for the best day hike? Read Hiking For Her's top 3 must do hikes at Mt. Rainier. #mountrainier #hiking


A few Mt. Rainier
hiking secrets

Because I'm a "local", I have a few tricks up my sleeve when it comes to hiking near, and on the flanks of, Mt. Rainier.

I'm ready to share a few with you right here!

1. Don't be intimidated by the crowds at Paradise and Sunrise.

  • Once you get half a mile away from the visitor centers, you're on your way toward peace and quiet.

2. Remember that you're hiking on an active volcano!

  • Sudden snow melts and glacial outbursts are possible, so head for high ground if you hear or see anything unusual.

3. Avoid these "hot spots" unless you like company:

  • Muir snowfield
  • Any short loop hike near a campground, such as Grove of the Patriarchs

4. Bears are sighted frequently, and in my recent experiences, bears are becoming more numerous but are not aggressive.

  • They mind their own business, as you should.

5. Weather changes fast on Mt. Rainier hiking trails, and it's your responsibility to be prepared for snow, sleet, hail, lightning, extreme temperatures, sideways rain, and unrelenting hot sun.

  • The conventional hiking wisdom of bringing layers definitely applies to Mount Rainier hiking, regardless of the date on the calendar.

6. You need trail head permits for backpacking, including assigned camp sites each night available via lottery.

Mount Rainier covered in glaciers“Of all the fire mountains which like beacons, once blazed along the Pacific Coast, Mount Rainier is the noblest.” John Muir

7. If you're going to head to Mount Rainier, bring your own food if you don't want to pay the high prices at the snack shops and lodges.

Lots more hiking tips for dayhikers are to be found right here!

For complete trail descriptions, photos and videos of the best day hikes in Mount Rainier National Park, check these out:


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Mount Rainier Hiking Tips


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