comScore
Paradise picture in Mount Rainier National Park
jurgita.photography / Getty Images

Key Info

Details

  • Hiking, Recreation Type
  • 2 hours to Half Day Time to Spend
4.8
Overall
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Scorecard

  • Value
    5.0
  • Facilities
    4.0
  • Atmosphere
    5.0

Read about how we rank Things to Do.

Paradise, which is located at an elevation of 5,400 feet, is a great place to start your park visit and where you'll find the Paradise Jackson Visitor Center, the main visitor center for the park. It offers general information, exhibits, a park film, guided ranger programs, a gift store and a cafeteria. In the summer, this area is ideal for wildflower viewing, and in winter, this is the main area for activities like snowshoeing, cross-country skiing and tubing. The historic Paradise Inn, which is usually open from mid-May to early October, is also located in this area, as is the Guide House, where climbers can obtain permits and hiking and backcountry camping information.

Visitors call the area "breathtaking" and "gorgeous," especially in peak wildflower season (July to August). Paradise also gets high marks for its visitor center and ranger programs. The only downside is that since it is so popular, parking can be hard to come by and you may experience long waits, according to some previous visitors.

There are a bevy of trails in the Paradise Area, including the picturesque Nisqually Vista Trail, a 45-minute loop trail that affords views of Mount Rainier and the Nisqually Glacier. You can also reach several areas by car, including the one-way Paradise Valley Road, which begins from the Paradise Inn and weaves through a beautiful meadow-filled valley. Reflection Lakes, located 3 miles east of Paradise on Stevens Canyon Road, is another roadside attraction. Here, visitors may be able to see Mount Rainier's reflection in the subalpine lakes.

Access to Paradise is included in park admission. The area is located 19 miles east of the Nisqually Entrance and 12 miles east of Longmire. For more information, visit the NPS website.

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#1 Paradise Paradise, which is located at an elevation of 5,400 feet, is a great place to start your park visit and where you'll find the Paradise Jackson Visitor Center ... Read more » jurgita.photography / Getty Images

#2 Sunrise From its elevation at 6,400 feet, Sunrise offers breathtaking, 360-degree views of the surrounding valleys. From this perch, travelers will have views of Mount Rainier and other volcanoes in ... Read more » Mark C Stevens / Getty Images

#3 Grove of the Patriarchs Trail This 1-mile loop trail, which is located west of the Stevens Canyon Entrance on the Ohanapecosh River, takes you to an island where 1,000-year-old Douglas fir and western red ... Read more » MWP / Getty Images

#4 Silver Falls Trail This 3-mile round-trip trail, which begins from the Ohanapecosh Campground, takes visitors to gorgeous Silver Falls and is relatively flat and easy to hike, making it popular with families. The ... Read more » Bruce Heinemann / Getty Images

Feng Wei Photography / Getty Images

#6 Longmire When the park was established in 1899, James Longmire's homestead and mineral springs resort became the park's headquarters. Longmire settled in the area in the mid-1800s, discovered the ... Read more » Jasperdo / Flickr

Paradise picture in Mount Rainier National Park
Sunrise picture in Mount Rainier National Park
Grove of the Patriarchs picture in Mount Rainier National Park
Silver Falls Trail picture in Mount Rainier National Park
Skyline Trail picture in Mount Rainier National Park
Longmire picture in Mount Rainier National Park
Paradise picture in Mount Rainier National Park
Sunrise picture in Mount Rainier National Park
Grove of the Patriarchs picture in Mount Rainier National Park
Silver Falls Trail picture in Mount Rainier National Park
Skyline Trail picture in Mount Rainier National Park
Longmire picture in Mount Rainier National Park

Hiking is a popular activity in the Paradise area of the park. jurgita.photography / Getty Images

From Sunrise, hikers can enjoy great views of Mount Rainier and Emmons Glacier. Mark C Stevens / Getty Images

Centuries-old Douglas fir and western red cedar trees tower overhead in the Grove of the Patriarchs. MWP / Getty Images

Three different hikes of varying lengths lead to the stunning Silver Falls and Ohanapecosh River. Bruce Heinemann / Getty Images

To catch the park's wild flowers in peak bloom along the Skyline Trail, plan your visit for late July. Feng Wei Photography / Getty Images

The Longmire area of the park, which is now a designated national historic district, hosts the building used as the original park headquarters. Jasperdo / Flickr

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