Mount Rainier Winter Snowshoe in Paradise

Olympia, WA

Trip Highlights

  • Winter Solitude
  • Alpine Wonders
  • Frozen Lakes & Rivers
  • Winter Wildlife Opportunities
  • Cozy Rainier Lodging
  • Amazing Natural & Cultural History

Description

Explore the majesty of Mount Rainier National Park in the winter on our 4 or 5-day Winter Snowshoe in Paradise inn-based adventure.

Join us for an exciting trip through the Park on a different snowshoe trek each day and relax in the comfort of a warm lodge each evening. We provide all the meals, lodging, local transportation, and an expert guide so you can relax and enjoy the sights of this winter wonderland.

Our daily excursions around this Cascade volcano highlight the diversity and beauty of Mount Rainier National Park, from frozen mountain lakes and glaciers to waterfalls and turbulent rivers to snow-covered meadows and dense conifer forests. You’ll get to explore the low valleys and climb high to stunning viewpoints of high peaks and impressive glaciers. Your guide will take you on a journey through Rainier’s geologic history, the region’s Native American history, and the resilient wildlife who call this snowy region home. This trip will challenge and delight everyone, from the novice snowshoer to the seasoned winter explorer. Come explore Mount Rainier in a way that few can say they have!

4 Days
$2230 Per Person
5 Days
$2790 Per Person
$450-600 Single Supplement  

$450-600 Single Supplement

The single supplement on this trip is $450 for the 4-day tour, and $600 for the 5-day tour.

Return Guests get a 10% discount on all Trips!
Trip Type: Inn-Based Tour
Difficulty Level:
Solitude Level:
Group Size: 4-10 Guests
Trip Length: 4-5 Days
Distance: 23+MI / 37+KM

DIFFICULTY LEVEL 3

Our difficulty ratings are based on a scale of 1-5, tours with a rating of 1 being least difficult, tours with a rating of 5 being most difficult

Backpack Weight:
10 pounds
Daily Distances:
4-7 miles
Most Elevation Loss:
1800 feet
Most Elevation Gain:
1800 feet
Quality of Trails:
Tracked and Untracked
Additional:
We will be following existing tracks and breaking our own as well.

Participants should:

  1. be active and healthy
  2. exercise several times per week
  3. be comfortable hiking 6-8 miles per day in hilly or mountainous terrain with occasional breaks

SOLITUDE LEVEL 3

1 least solitude, 5 most solitude

We rate this Mount Rainier winter tour a solitude 3. You can expect several hours of solitude at a time.

The most common way to reach Olympia is by flying into Seattle and renting a vehicle or shuttling to Olympia (approximately 1 hour). SeaTac (Seattle-Tacoma) Airport is one of the most easily accessed destinations in the country. Many major cities in the United States and internationally offer direct flights into Seattle.

The shuttle to Olympia is provided by Capital Aeroporter and costs $30-$45 per person each way. Go to www.capair.com/olympia or call 800-962-3579 to make reservations.

PRIVATE TRIPS

Traveling in perfect company is a wonderful thing! With our private trip offerings you can book a trip exclusively for your group. Whether it’s with family, friends or colleagues, private trips are a fun and enriching way to explore the outdoors.

Private trip pricing is based on a sliding scale, depending on the number of people in your party. Rates are per person and do not include sales tax and national park fees (where applicable) or guide gratuity. Give us a call at 800-715-HIKE to get the ball rolling!

PRIVATE RATES FOR THIS TRIP

  • 2 People: Rate x 2
  • 3 People: Rate x 1.5
  • 4 People: Rate x 1.15
  • 5+ People: Rate x 1

*all rates are per person and single supplements apply

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We’re here to help. If you have any questions, call 800-715-HIKE or contact us online.
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ITINERARY

ITINERARY

Day 1

  • Shuttle to Mount Rainier: 2 hours
  • Hiking Mileage: 4-7 miles
  • Elevation Gain/Loss: 600-1200 feet

Our first hike of the tour begins in Longmire on the Wonderland Trail, the 93-mile loop that circumnavigates Mount Rainier. We’ll only be venturing out on a short section of it, but we’ll get a taste for what this iconic trail has to offer in winter. For the first two miles, we’ll be trekking through beautiful old-growth forests heading upstream along the turbulent Nisqually River. If the conditions are right and we’re feeling up for the challenge, we’ll cross the footbridge over the Nisqually and head up the narrow Paradise River Valley and its namesake tributary. After the landscape begins to open up again, we’ll reach a pair of gorgeous waterfalls that make a perfect turnaround spot for the day. From there, we’ll retrace our steps back to Longmire and check-in to our lodge to warm up with a cup of hot chocolate by the fireplace.

Day 2

  • Shuttle to Trailhead: 20 minutes (depending on conditions)
  • Hiking Mileage: 6 miles
  • Elevation Gain/Loss: 800 feet

After breakfast we’ll head up to the Narada Falls trailhead to begin our hike to Reflection Lakes. After a short climb, we’ll reach the Stevens Canyon Road which is closed to cars for the winter but open for us to cruise along on our snowshoes. We’ll follow the road past Inspiration Point with stellar views of the jagged peaks in the Tatoosh Range to our south. While Reflection Lakes will likely be covered in ice, that won’t stop us from admiring the stunning views of Mount Rainier which make these lakes famous. As we continue on to Louise Lake, keep an eye out for the gregarious grey jays and the brilliantly blue Stellar’s jay who frequent this area in winter. Once we’ve had our fill of this winter wonderland, we’ll head back to our vehicle and the warm comfort of our lodge.

Day 3

  • Shuttle to Trailhead: 25 minutes
  • Hiking Mileage: 5+ miles
  • Elevation Gain/Loss: 1800 feet

We’ll get an early start to our day for the biggest challenge of the trip: a hike up the standard route that mountaineers use to begin their summit attempt of Mount Rainier. From the parking lot at Paradise we’ll begin steadily climbing up the Skyline Trail on a ridge with views of the Nisqually Glacier down below. Winter climbing is less common than in summer, but if we keep an eye out we might spot some intrepid mountaineers making their way up to the high camp halfway up at Camp Muir. Once we reach Panorama Point, a prominent outcropping of rock, we’ll be rewarded (if the weather permits) with amazing views of Mount Rainier, the Tatoosh Range, and possibly even three other Cascade volcanoes: Mount Adams, Mount St Helens, and Mount Hood. Once we’ve taken in the views, we’ll continue to follow the Skyline Trail onto Mazama Ridge before dropping down onto the open slopes of Edith Creek Basin and eventually back to Paradise where our vehicle awaits. Once safely back, we’ll warm up again by the fire and enjoy a well-earned dinner at the lodge!

Day 4 (5-day Trip Only)

  • Hiking Mileage: 4.8 miles
  • Elevation Gain/Loss: 1500 feet

For those with five days to explore Rainier, we’ll gear up at Longmire after breakfast and head out straight onto the trails from there. We’ll start our day by hiking through beautiful old-growth forests of Douglas-fir and Western Red Cedar before ascending a series of switchbacks to gain Rampart Ridge. Nearly halfway through or hike, we’ll reach our highpoint of the day with views of nearby Tumtum Peak and Nisqually Valley. From there we’ll begin to gradually descend back off the ridge with some possible glimpses of Mount Rainier along the way, and maybe if we’re lucky we’ll even spot some red foxes or snowshoe hares in these dense, snowy forests. When we’ve nearly completed our loop, we’ll join up with the Wonderland Trail which will lead us right back to our starting place at Longmire.

Final Day

  • Shuttle to Trailhead: 5 minutes
  • Hiking Mileage: 5+ miles
  • Elevation Gain/Loss: 1500 feet
  • Shuttle to Olympia: 2 hours

On our final day, we’ll pack up and enjoy our last hike together through Kautz Creek valley, just a 5 minute drive away near the park entrance. Our trailhead is at the lowest elevation of the trip, so we may begin our hike with snowshoes strapped to our packs. On our journey up Kautz Creek we’ll experience firsthand the geologic history of the mountain and this region, since this tumultuous landscape is frequently scoured by spring snowmelt, floods, and even massive mudflows. After crossing a snow-covered footbridge over the creek, we’ll begin climbing switchbacks out of the valley and we’ll need our snowshoes if we haven’t yet. From our new vantage point above the valley, we’ll enjoy views further up Kautz Creek, nearby Satulick Mountain, and the snow-covered flanks of Mount Rainier. Depending on our desires and remaining time, we’ll keep climbing or turn back and retrace our steps back to the vehicle while enjoying the stunning and changing scenery from broad meadows to dense forests and back to the banks of Kautz Creek. We’ll say our last farewells to Mount Rainier and it’s stunning scenery, and enjoy the great memories we’ve made in this snowy wonderland.

Please Note: We always do everything in our power to follow the set itinerary, however it can change occasionally based on temporary access restrictions, weather, lodging/campground availability, guest ability/injury, natural events like fires and flooding, and other potential causes.

Trip Dates & Booking

TRIP DATES & BOOKING

Click on a date to register. You can also click here to request new dates or book through customer service.

Available to Book

AVAILABLE TO BOOK

This trip is available and bookable online! Click on the date to register now or contact us online to book through our award-winning customer service team!

Going Fast

GOING FAST

This trip has 1 or 2 spots remaining and is bookable online! Click on the date to book now or contact us online to book through customer service.

Request a Reservation

REQUEST A RESERVATION

This trip is exclusively booked through customer service due to logistics with lodging, permits, staffing, availability, or something else. Please contact us online or call us at 800-715-HIKE (4453) to request a reservation.

Don't see your dates? Call us! We may be able to add new trip dates.

800-715-HIKE (4453)

Trip Details

Trip Details

What's Included

  • 3 or 4 nights of lodging at Mount Rainier National Park
  • Top-of-the-line backpacks, snowshoes, and trekking poles
  • All meals are included from breakfast the first day through lunch on the last day
  • A professional, knowledgeable, certified Pacific Northwest hiking/snowshoeing guide
  • Transportation for the duration of the tour (beginning and ending in Olympia, WA)
  • Entrance fees and national park permits
  • Emergency equipment including a company-issued first-aid kit and satellite phone (carried by your guide)
  • You will receive a Lifetime Hiking Membership entitling you, your spouse and kids to a lifetime discount of 10% off any Wildland Trekking hiking trip after your first one!

What's Not Included

  • Clothes, raingear, and footwear (Oboz hiking shoes and boots recommended)
  • Sunscreen, toiletries and personal items
  • Water bottles and a headlamp or flashlight
  • Alcoholic beverages
  • Guide gratuity (industry recommendation is 10-20% of trip cost)

Click here to see a printable, downloadable trip information packet with more detailed guidance about what to pack.

Meals: What to Expect

We provide all your meals from breakfast the first day through lunch the last day. Your guide will prepare most breakfasts and lunches with a variety of hot and cold meals that are appropriate for the day’s activities. Feel free to tell us about your food preferences, as we’re more than happy to tailor the menu to your needs/desires. For dinners, we’ll enjoy lodge and/or restaurant meals.

Gear We Provide

We provide all group gear which includes the following:

  • Deuter or Osprey backpacks
  • Snowshoes
  • Leki or Black Diamond trekking poles
  • Company-issued first-aid kit
  • Emergency communication device(s)

What Gear to Bring

We ask that you supply a couple of gear items on your hiking tour. These items are two 1-liter water bottles per person and basic items like sunscreen, bug repellent (where and when applicable), lip balm, and toiletries are also important. All of these items are available online at Wildland Trekking Outfitters.

What Clothes to Bring

When you register for this tour you’ll receive access to a printable, downloadable trip information packet with detailed guidance about what clothes to pack (click here to see it now.) All trips require a sturdy pair of hiking shoes or hiking boots, rain gear, and our recommended clothing system. A minimum of three pairs of wool or synthetic hiking socks are also required. All of these items are available online at Wildland Trekking Outfitters.

Trip Logistics

Trip Logistics

How Do I Register?

Reserve your spot today! In the Trip Dates & Booking section of this page, the green and red dates are bookable online by simply clicking on the date, and blue dates must be booked through our customer service team for a variety of possible reasons. To email our customer service team, you can click here to get the ball rolling. Our adventure consultants will confirm availability, and if you’re ready to register we’ll email you a link to a registration profile. You’ll have 72 hours to complete your profile (and that of any dependents) and pay the deposit.

Feel free to call us for more info – we’re here 7 days a week!

Where Do We Meet?

This trip originates in Olympia, Washington. Your guide will be in contact approximately 10 days before the trip start date to coordinate the pre-trip orientation, which will be at 5:00 PM at the Hotel RL Olympia (we recommend staying here as well – mention you’re hiking with us and get a discounted rate that varies year by year, 360-943-4000). Your guide will then pick you up at your hotel the next morning for transport to the trailhead.

Click here to see a printable, downloadable trip information packet with more detailed guidance about flights, shuttles, recommended lodging and more.

Start/End Times

Your guide will inform you of the first day’s pick-up time at the orientation meeting. Generally, you can expect it to be between 6 and 9 am, although the exact time will depend on current weather and road conditions. We will drop you off at your hotel on the final day no later than 7 PM.

Safety Considerations

Your safety is our top priority. Our hiking tours are led by professional hiking guides, all of whom are wilderness-certified first responders or EMT’s, each with years of guiding and wilderness experience. We’ve developed comprehensive risk management protocols that our guides adhere to in case of an emergency, and most tours carry a satellite phone. If you have any further questions about safety, please contact us at 1-800-715-HIKE (4453) for more information.

Guides

Your tour will be led by a trained, experienced professional with a solid guiding background, years of personal wilderness and hiking experience, medical certifications, and a passion for leading people into breathtaking landscapes. Check out our Meet Our Team page for staff bios.

Guide Working Parameters

Guides are required to take 8 hours off each 24-hour period to sleep, recuperate, take personal/down time…etc. In addition, as part of the 8 hours off they must sleep/rest or be in their tents/rooms uninterrupted for a minimum of 5 hours each night. We ask guests to respect these requirements and to not interrupt guides’ off time and sleep time unless there is a true emergency.

Group Size and Age Restrictions

The standard group size on this trip is 5 guests and 1 guide, with a maximum of 10 guests and 2 guides. If you have more questions about group size, please give us a call at 1-800-715-HIKE (4453) and we’ll answer all your questions.

Age restrictions are as follows:

  • 12 and older to join scheduled tours (mixed groups)
  • 5 and older to join private tours, with final approval and specific logistical requirements (such as porter or stock assist) determined on a case by case basis

Winter Weather on Mount Rainier

This trip travels between the alpine zones and valleys around Mount Rainier. The average temperatures below are for the alpine zone, while the valleys may be several degrees warmer.

AVERAGE TEMPERATURES (FAHRENHEIT)

Edit
Month High Low
December 34° 22°
January 33° 21°
February 35° 22°
March 37° 22°

Accommodations

Accommodations

National Park Inn

3-4 NIGHTS

Nestled in the trees of the historic Longmire District on Mount Rainier, and a short distance from the Paradise area, this iconic lodge offers a very cozy place to relax and unwind after our snowshoeing excursions.

*These exact accommodations are not guaranteed. In some instances alternative accommodations of similar quality and location may be used

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