Paradise is famous for its glorious views and wildflower meadows. When James Longmire's daughter-in-law, Martha, first saw this site, she exclaimed, "Oh, what a paradise!" The park's main visitor center, the new Paradise Jackson Visitor Center, is located in the upper parking area. Paradise is also the prime winter-use area in the park, receiving on average 643 inches (53.6 feet/16.3 meters) of snow a year. Winter activities include snowshoeing, cross-country skiing and tubing. The road between Longmire and Paradise is plowed throughout the winter. See the current Road Status for updated information about park roads. Paradise is located 19 miles (30 km) east of the Nisqually Entrance and 12 miles (19 km) east of Longmire.
You might also consider visiting other parts of the park such as Longmire, Sunrise, Ohanapecosh, and the Carbon River-Mowich Lake areas. earn money app
Services earn money appSee Operating Hours and Seasons for current information about these facilities:
The new Paradise Jackson Visitor Center offers general information, exhibits, the new park film, guided ranger programs, book/gift store and cafeteria. This visitor center is usually open daily from May to early October. From mid-October through April, it is usually open only on weekends and holidays.
The historic Paradise Inn, a concessioner-operated hotel, offers lodging, a dining room and a gift shop. The Paradise Inn is usually open from mid-May to early-October and is closed in the winter. The article, Paradise Inn: A History of Beauty and Challenge, provides an overview of the history of the Paradise Inn.
The Guide House houses the Paradise Climbing Information Center, where visitors can obtain climbing permits and hiking and backcountry camping information.
The historic Paradise Ranger Station, is also located at Paradise. Information services formerly available at the Paradise Ranger Station are now available at the Guide House.
Roadside AttractionsParadise Valley Road - Start next to the Paradise Inn to follow this one-way road through a beautiful meadow filled valley.
Reflection Lakes - Drive 3 miles (4.8 km) east of Paradise on Stevens Canyon Road for a possible glimpse of Mount Rainier's reflection in these subalpine lakes.
Inspiration Point - Just east of Paradise Valley Road on Stevens Canyon Road, this large pullout offers spectacular views of Mount Rainier and the Tatoosh Range.
HikingIf you plan to visit Paradise, remember that Paradise is located at an elevation of 5,400 feet and trails have at least some steeper sections. Please stay on the trails; the meadows are very fragile and heavily visited.
Bench & Snow Lakes Trail (2.4 mi/3.7 km)
Located east of Reflection Lakes along Stevens Canyon Road, Bench lake is 0.75 miles (1.2 km) from the trailhead, while Snow Lake is 0.5 miles (0.8 km) further down the trail. Enjoy lovely subalpine meadows and lakes.
Pinnacle Peak (2.6 mi/4.2 km)
Also beginning from Reflection Lakes, Hike into the Tatoosh Range for excellent views of Mount Rainier and Mount Adams.
Paradise Meadows Trails
Take any of these trails for excellent views of Mount Rainier, subalpine meadows, and wildlife:
- Nisqually Vista Trail (1.2 mi/1.9 km) - Views of the Nisqually Glacier.
- Skyline Trail to Myrtle Falls (1 mi/1.6 km) - Wheelchair accessible with assistance.
- Deadhorse Creek Trail & Morraine Trail (2.5 mi/4 km) - Glacier views.
- Alta Vista Trail (1.7 mi/2.7 km) - Wildflower viewing.
You might also consider visiting other areas of the park like the Carbon River-Mowich Lake area, Ohanapecosh, Longmire, and Paradise.
The Sunrise Road usually opens in late June or early July and closes in late September to early October. Check the road status before setting out.
ServicesThe Sunrise Visitor Center is open daily from early July to early September and closed in winter. Here visitors will find exhibits, guided interpretive programs, book sales, and a picnic area.
The Sunrise Day Lodge, open from early July to late September, offers food service and a gift shop. There is no overnight lodging at the Sunrise Day Lodge.
CampingThe White River Campground and picnic area is located 12 miles from the Sunrise Visitor Center.
Roadside AttractionsTipsoo Lake - Located at Chinook Pass, this subalpine lake is set ina glacier-carved basin amid spectacular wildflower meadows.
White River Patrol Cabin - Located in White River Campground Loop C, this historic patrol cabin was built in the late 1920s and is part of a series of patrol cabins linked by trails that helped the early rangers protect the park.
Columnar Lava - On the drive from White River Campground to Sunrise Point, watch the left-hand road banks for andesite columns that formed from an ancient Mount Rainier lava flow.
Sunrise Point - Sweeping views of the Cascade Range to the east, Sunrise Lake to the north, and Mount Rainier to the southwest.
Sunrise - The fortress and blockade style structures as well as the rustic Day Lodge are part of the National Historic Landmark District. They are set amid colorful subalpine meadows with Emmons Glacier and Mount Rainier as a stunning backdrop.
Yakima Park - The meadows surrounding Sunrise are known collectively as Yakima Park. During the summers, this area was a favorite of the Yakama people for hunting and gathering. For thousands of years, these and other subalpine meadows have been important to Native American people for their beauty, and for the valuable plant and animal resources they contain.
Learn more about the geology of the area by listening to the Sunrise Geology Audio Tour while driving along the Sunrise Road! This audio tour also takes you on a short walk to explore the glaciers and moraines visibile from the Emmons Glacier Overlooks.
HikingAlong Hwy 410:
Tipsoo Lake (0.5 mi/0.8 km)
Easy walk around this picturesque subalpine lake surrounded by gorgeous wildflower meadows. Please stay on trails to protect the delicate meadows.
Crystal Lakes Trail (6.3 mi/10.1 km)
Located 4.5 miles (7.2 km) north of Cayuse Pass. Spectacular meadows highlight this trail in midsummer. Watch for elk and mountain goats, Upper Crystal Lake lies in a basin 0.7 miles (1.1 km) beyond the lower lake.
Naches Peak Loop Trail (3.4 mi/5.5 km)
Starting from Tipsoo Lake, travel clockwise along trail, cross Hwy 410 on the Pacific Crest Trail bridge going south on the Pacific Crest Trail to keep the mountain in view. This trail features superb wildflower displays in midsummer, blueberries ine arly fall, and brilliant autumn colors.
At White River:
Summerland Trail (8.5 mi/13.7 km)
Located 3 miles (4.8 km) west of the White River Entrance, this popular trail features dense forest, subalpine meadows, panoramic views of Mount Rainier and Little Tahoma, mountain goats, and elk herds.
Glacier Basin Trail (6.5 mi/10.5 km)
Beginning from Loop D of the White River Campground, hike through forest and past mining camp remains. Take the 0.5 mile (0.8 km) side-trip to visit the snout of the Emmons Glacier.
At Sunrise Point:
Palisades Lake Trail (7 mi/11.3 km)
A series of beautiful subalpine lakes are found along this trail. There are no views of Mount Rainier.
Sunrise Nature Trail (1.5 mi/2.4 km)
From the upper end of the Sunrise picnic area, follow this self-guided loop tour through subalpine meadows for breathtaking views of Mount Rainier and the Cascades.
Emmons Vista Overlooks (1 mi/1.6 km)
Located on the south side of Sunrise parking area. For spectacular views of Emmons Glacier follow the Sunrise Rim Trail to the two overlooks.
Frozen Lake Loop Trail (3 mi/4.8 km)
Follow the Sunrise Nature Trail to the ridgetop, then head west on the Sourdough Ridge Trail. Return to Sunrise via the Wonderland Trail and Old Campground Trail.
Silver Forest Trail (2 mi/3.2 km)
From the south side of Sunrise parking area, follow the Sunrise Rim Trail to the Silver Forest Trail through an old burned area. The "silvery" color of the charred trees bleached white by the weather give the area its name.
Shadow Lake Loop (3 mi/4.8km)
From south side of Sunrise parking area, hike the Sunrise Rim Trail to Shadow Lake and see colorful meadows along the way. Return via Old Campground Trail.
Mount Fremont Lookout Trail (5.6 mi/9.0 km)
Follow Sourdough Ridge Trail to the Mount Fremont Trail. This trail leads to a historic fire lookout with excellent views of Mount Rainier and its glaciers along the way.
Burroughs Mountain Trail (First Burroughs Mtn: 4.8 mi/7.7 km, Second Burroughs Mtn: 6 mi/9.6 km)
Access via the Sourdough Ridge Trail. Hike this trail for outstanding mountain views and to visit the most accessible tundra in the Cascade Range. Plants here have a very short growing season. Return via the Sunrise Rim Trail for a change of scenery.
The article, Ohanapecosh: Treasure of the Deep Forest, provides an overview of the history of the area.
You might also consider visiting other areas of the park like Longmire, Paradise, Carbon River-Mowich, and Sunrise.
ServicesThe Ohanapecosh Visitor Center, open from June to early October, offers exhibits, guided interpretive programs, and book sales.
CampingThe Ohanapecosh Campground and picnic area is located on the banks of the peaceful Ohanapecosh River, within a majestic old-growth forest. Like the visitor center, the campground is open from late May to early October.
Roadside AttractionsBox Canyon - Located on Stevens Canyon Road 12 miles (19 km) west of Ohanapecosh. From the bridge, gaze 180 feet (55 meters) below at water rushing through a narrow slot canyon carved by the Muddy Fork of the Cowlitz River.
Reflection Lakes - Drive west 19 miles (30.6 km) from Ohanapecosh on Stevens Canyon Road for a possible glimpse of Mount Rainier's reflection in these subalpine lakes.
Inspiration Point - This large pullout is 20 miles (32 km) west of Ohanapecosh on Stevens Canyon Road. It offers spectacular views of Mount Rainier and the Tatoosh Range.
HikingGrove of the Patriarchs Trail (1.1 mi/1.8km)
The Grove is just west of Stevens Canyon Entrance on the Ohanapecosh River. Walk the trail along the river to an island of ancient Western red-cedar, Douglas-fir, and Western hemlock.
Hot Springs Nature Trail (0.4 mi/0.6 km)
Around the Ohanapecosh Visitor Center, this self-guided natural trail winds through old-growth forest and the site of an early hot springs resort.
Box Canyon Loop Trail (0.5 mi/0.8 km)
Hike the loop trail around a deep, river carved gorge. Box Canyon is located 12 miles (19 km) west of Ohanapecosh.
Silver Falls Trail
Three trails varying in length lead to this spectacular waterfall:
- Route 123 (0.6 mi/1 km) - Begins 1.6 miles (2.6 km) north of Ohanapecosh, with parking at the pullout on the west side of the road.
- Stevens Canyon Road (1.2 mi/1.9 km) - Begins west of Stevens Canyon Entrance, across from the Grove of the Patriarchs trailhead.
- Ohanapecosh Campground (2.7 mi/4.3 km) - Access trail from the far end of Loop "B" of the Ohanapecosh Campground.