Mount Rainier National Park is a United States National Park located in southeast Pierce County and northeast Lewis County in Washington state. It was established on March 2, 1899 as the fifth national park in the United States. The park encompasses 236,381 acres (369.35 sq mi; 956.60 km2) including all of Mount Rainier, a 14,411-foot (4,392 m) stratovolcano. The mountain rises abruptly from the surrounding land with elevations in the park ranging from 1,600 feet to over 14,000 feet (490 – 4,300 m). The highest point in the Cascade Range, around it are valleys, waterfalls, subalpine meadows, old-growth forest and more than 25 glaciers.
Mount Rainier stands as an icon in the Washington landscape. An active volcano, Mount Rainier is the most glaciated peak in the contiguous U.S.A., spawning six major rivers. Subalpine wildflower meadows ring the icy volcano while ancient forest cloaks Mount Rainier’s lower slopes. Wildlife abounds in the park’s ecosystems. A lifetime of discovery awaits.
Spring Opening Forecasts for Mount Rainier National Park
Mount Rainier National Park Superintendent Randy King announces that the park is preparing for the annual spring opening of park areas and facilities. In addition, the park will celebrate National Park Week April 16-24 with waivers for all entry fees, and a variety of events and activities. Mount Rainier is planning a variety of programs to celebrate the Centennial of the National Park Service!
The exceptionally low snow of 2015 has been replaced with a more normal snowpack at the park for 2016. Therefore, visitors can expect opening schedules to more closely parallel normal snow conditions. As a reminder, all dates are projections only, and can change with conditions. In addition, facilities and access routes are dewinterized, unforeseen challenges (such as unexpected winter season damage to infrastructure) may result in limited visitor services or changes to projected opening dates. The park’s summer workforce will begin arriving in late spring to provide essential visitor safety and public service operations.
National Park Inn Spring Savings
Spring is in the air and it’s time to plan your National Park Week getaway with free entrance to Mt. Rainier April 16 -24. Spend a night or two in the historic National Park Inn, relax and enjoy spectacular views of Mt. Rainier from comfortable chairs on the front porch or stroll along the Trail of the Shadows, where human and natural history intermingle in the forest and meadows of Longmire. Stay two nights midweek and your second night is free! This is a limited offer and time is running out.
Open year-round, this historic inn provides a relaxing retreat in Mount Rainier National Park with spectacular views of Mount Rainier from comfortable chairs on the front porch. Hiking trails are just steps from the front door and the inn features a full service dining room and general store.