Quote of the Month:

Nature gives to every time and season some beauties of its own." - Charles Dickens

Paradise Area Trails

Parent Category: Hiking
Created: 17 September 2014
Location: Mount Rainier, Paradise Area
Snow free: Mid-July - September
Trailhead Pass: National Park Pass Required
GPS Coordinates: Trailhead: 46°47'04.0"N 121°44'26.0"W

Photo from Mount Rainier, Paradise Area, Paradise Area TrailsPictures below will take you on a virtual tour along popular trails with perfect views of Mt. Rainier. Enjoy the views!!!


The Paradise Area is famous for its’ gorgeous wildflower meadows. The Paradise Area flower trails are one of the most popular in Washington State. The views here are unbelievably perfect: multicolored meadows are set against the background of the most famous Mount Rainier.

Late July and August is the best time to explore incredible nature of this area. Be ready for the crowds, solitude is almost impossible to find at prime time. We visited Paradise Area both in summer and in fall, and we can say the nature here is perfect in all weathers.

Photo from Mount Rainier, Paradise Area, Paradise Area Trails

All Paradise Area Trails are short and well-maintained; all the junctions are well marked. The best way to explore this area is to plan your route by designing a loop. The journey begins near the Paradise ranger station.

There are several paths that take the beginning from here, so you can choose any of them, because there are lots of trail junctions on your way. So if you decide that it’s not the route you wanted to take, you can change it very quickly.

Keep in mind that this area is very popular for wildflowers displays. If you want to enjoy the whole beauty of it, make sure to check the information when the flowers are in bloom here. Avalanche lilies, glacier lilies, then come out lupine and magenta paintbrush, broadleaf arnica, Sitka valerian, bear grass and more.

Photo from Mount Rainier, Paradise Area, Paradise Area Trails

Paradise area offers a great number of picturesque trails and it happens that hikers don’t know which one to choose. If you prefer short trails, you may take Nisqually Vista Trail or Myrtle Falls Trail.

Nisqually Vista Trail is a short 1.25- mile loop trail. The path is paved and easy to hike with kids. This route starts at the Jackson Visitor Center. If you choose the right timing, you will enjoy beautiful Fairy Pond and of course the views of the Nisqually Glacier.

Another beautiful and short hike is the one that takes you to Myrtle Falls. It is located only in half a mile from Paradise. From the ranger station, a paved path takes you up the hill to the junction with the Skyline Trail. Here you are to turn right and follow the signs to Myrtle Falls.

Alta Vista is the trail that is often chosen by those hikers who prefer elevation. The trail is not long, about one mile, but the elevation is 5,940 feet.

Photo from Mount Rainier, Paradise Area, Paradise Area Trails

Glacier Vista is another nice trail which offers stunning views on the elevation of 6,336 feet.

Skyline Trail is known as the best hike in Mount Rainier National Park. It leads hikers through alpine meadows, passes streams and waterfalls, and even snowfields and glaciers. Skyline Trail loops up to Panorama Point, the most gorgeous and stunning viewpoint where hikers enjoy the closeness of Mount Rainier.

The length of the entire trail loop is 5.4 miles with elevation gain of 1,700 feet. Visitors may also shorten the distance to 4.5 miles by taking Golden Gate Trail shortcut. It should be said that this hike from Paradise to Panorama Point is known all over the world and tourists from the entire world come here to enjoy the famous alpine meadows.

Be sure to pick up a map showing the network of trails so you can plan your route. Don’t be afraid to be lost because all the trail junctions are well signed. We need to be grateful to the Park Servece and volunteers who work on improving this area and the trails.

Photo from Mount Rainier, Paradise Area, Paradise Area Trails

If you choose summer for your hike, remember to stay on trail despite the desire to walk in the alpine meadows, it is forbidden. Lots of signs remind visitors that trampled flowers may not recover from the human impact for decades.

The hike along Skyline Trail to Panorama Point starts near the Visitors Center and climbs up the hill. There will be several junctions along the way, but Skyline Trail is well-marked. On the way to a junction with Dead Horse Creek Trail the Skyline Trail gains about 200 feet. Here the hikers will enjoy the first views of Mount Rainier and Nisqually Glacier.

The next junction on your way will be with Alta Vista Trail, you are to hike straight toward the mountain. The next mile will gain the elevation of 850 feet. The main thing that you need to do here is to stop and to listen to the sound of the ice that is moving. If you are lucky to hike on a sunny day, you may surely enjoy a waterfall that is flowing out of the glacier.
Hikers may also encounter snowfields which can be found in this area for much of the year.

Photo from Mount Rainier, Paradise Area, Paradise Area Trails

Panorama Point opens before visitors breathtaking views of the Paradise region, the Tatoosh Range and stunning views of both stratovolcanoes Mount Saint Helen and Mount Adams.

At Panorama Point there are two possibilities for hikers: to hike back the way you came or to make a loop. The Skyline Trail continues above Panorama Point and gains the highest elevation of 7, 051 feet.

One of the most beautiful trails is Moraine Trail. It is a half-mile-long trail, which starts at Paradise. Follow the signs and enjoy the views. This trail also takes you to the junction with Dead Horse Creek Trail. This short trail is well-maintained, but hikers can continue to go further if the weather conditions allow. Enjoy numerous marmots along the trail.

These pictures were taken on September 04, 2014

In order to get the directions click on the link below:

Photo: Roman Khomlyak

Photo Editing: Alex Mandryko

Information: Marina Petrova

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