What to Do at Mt. Rainier

If you haven’t visited Mt. Rainier yet, you will be surprised and maybe a little overwhelmed by all the things there are to do at Mt. Rainier. It’s a year-round destination that offers countless winter and summer activities. Whether you love to play in the snow or play in the sun, you’ll find lots of fun things to do during your Mt. Rainier visit. We’ve listed a few of our favorite activities below to get you started.

Winter Activities

Snowshoe Mt. Rainier
Snowshoe Mt. Rainier

Winter activities abound at Mt. Rainier! Enjoy snowshoeing, cross-country skiing, sledding, and hot tubbing in the snow!

A stay at one of Rainier Lodging’s seven cabins during the winter season, between Thanksgiving and early April, will reward you with tranquility and beauty.

Resources

Rainier Lodging can be your base camp for a week or a weekend full of winter activities at Mount Rainier!

Mt. Rainier is the perfect destination for winter weather fun! Whether you are looking for a family friendly vacation or an exciting winter getaway, you will discover activities for all ages and create Mt. Rainier Paradise Play Area unforgettable winter break memories.

Activities that will elicit thrills and squeals:

Snow Play Area at Paradise: Planning a family trip with the kids this winter? The snow play area at Paradise is a kid and parent favorite with perfect hills for sledding and tubing. Your children will get their wiggles, giggles, and extra energy out while zooming down snow-covered hills. Bring a thermos full of homemade hot chocolate and some snacks and make an afternoon of the outing. Then warm up with a soak in the hot tub and spend an evening snuggling around the fireplace. A day of winter bliss.

Snowshoeing, Nordic Skiing, and Snowboarding: When the snow flies…so can you! Mt. Rainier has plenty to offer in the way of winter activities. Whether you are an adrenaline junkie or get your high from gliding or walking atop fresh snow, there is something for everyone. Mt. Tahoma Trails is a no fee, fifty-mile trail system with two huts and a yurt that offer a place to warm up and recharge along the way. Perfect for a daylong winter adventure.

Russian Tea Recipe: Need something warm in your thermos while out on winter adventures? This is a great alternative to hot chocolate!

1 c. Tang
½ c. instant lemonade/tea mix (or use separately)
½ c. sugar
1 tsp. cinnamon
½ tsp. ground cloves
¼ tsp. nutmeg

1. Mix ingredients together or layer into glass jar for pretty presentation.
2. Pour 6 oz. of hot water over 2 Tbs. of mixture.

Summer Activities

Ranger Falls
Ranger Falls (photo credit)

There is so much to explore in and around Ashford and the National Park!

AREA ACTIVITIES FOR VISITORS OF ALL AGES

  • Northwest Trek Wildlife Park in Eatonville, WA is a classic trip for families and children. Ride the tram, take the walking tour, hike nature trails, visit Cheney Discovery Center and much more! Children of all ages love this trip. It’s also great for mobility-impaired visitors.
  • Mt. Rainier Scenic Railroad offers an amazingly beautiful trip through our Cascade Mountains at the base of Mt. Rainier.
  • EZ Times Outfitters in Ashford, WA offers horseback trail rides for adults and kids.

FISHING, SWIMMING, & BOATING

There are lots of fishing options near Mt. Rainier. You may even catch something in Big Creek, just steps from our three creekside cabins! For a variety of water activities, we recommend:

  • Mineral Lake: Located about 20 minutes SE of Ashford off Hwy 7, Mineral Lake is stocked with trout annually, and you can rent everything you need for a day on the water at the Mineral Lake Resort, including fishing poles, bait & tackle, row boats, and pontoon boats.
  • Alder Lake: Also a 20 minute drive from Ashford is Alder Lake, situated about midway between Eatonville and Elbe. This large lake has 2 boat ramps, a swimming beach, picnic area, playground, and is a great place for outdoor summer recreation. Check out the impressive dam from Alder Lake Park!
  • Holiday Lake: For guests staying at one of our 4 Paradise Estates area cabins (Lazy Bears Creekside Cabin, Little Bears Cabin, Starry Nights by the Creek, and Cedar Cabin on the Creek), you can enjoy access to this small neighborhood lake which offers a park and play area, floating dock for swimmers, and fishing from the shore.

MT. RAINIER ACTIVITIES

  • Day Hiking Rainier: Hikers of every ability can enjoy the trails of Mt. Rainier, which range from easy 1/2 mile loops to multi-mile climbs. The late-summer wildflowers are not to be missed!
  • Mount Tahoma Trails Association: Find information about hiking the hut trail system in the foothills of Mt. Rainier.
  • Waterfalls: Some of the most scenic waterfalls in the Pacific Northwest can be found in the areas surrounding our Washington State cabins including Chinook Creek Falls, Comet Falls, Bloucher Falls, Fairy Falls, Little Mashel Falls, Margaret Falls, Spray Falls, Tatoosh Falls and Upper Stevens Creek Falls.
  • Ranger-Guided Programs: Topics vary from day to day, and may include geology, wildlife, ecology, mountaineering, or park history.
  • Backpacking Mount Rainier from the Park Service
  • Climbing Mount Rainier from the Park Service