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Paradise Valley Snowshoe Loop

Mount Rainier National Park

Mount Rainier Area, Washington

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Paradise Valley Snowshoe Loop

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  • View south toward the Tatoosh Range (Unicorn Peak, The Castle, and Pinnacle Peak).- Paradise Valley Snowshoe Loop
  • Mount Rainier (14,411') and Paradise Inn from the trailhead.- Paradise Valley Snowshoe Loop
  • Beginning of the trail on a groomed Paradise Valley Route.- Paradise Valley Snowshoe Loop
  • Beginning of the trail on a groomed Paradise Valley Route.- Paradise Valley Snowshoe Loop
  • View north to Mount Rainier (14,411').- Paradise Valley Snowshoe Loop
  • View southwest to Eagle Peak (5,958'), a part of the Tatoosh Range.- Paradise Valley Snowshoe Loop
  • Paradise-Narada Falls Trail.- Paradise Valley Snowshoe Loop
  • Paradise-Narada Falls Trail.- Paradise Valley Snowshoe Loop
  • Looking back along the Paradise-Narada Falls Trail.- Paradise Valley Snowshoe Loop
  • The approach back up to Paradise Inn.- Paradise Valley Snowshoe Loop
  • The sun rises as wind stirs up powdery snow near Panorama Point.- Paradise Valley Snowshoe Loop
  • Last alpenglow on the Tatoosh as the sun sets. Tracks through Paradise Valley are evidence of many visitors.- Paradise Valley Snowshoe Loop
Overview + Weather
Pros: 
Views of Paradise Valley, Mount Rainier, and the Tatoosh Range.
Cons: 
Paradise Road gate only open 9 A.M. to 5 P.M.
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Region:
Mount Rainier Area, WA
Congestion: 
Moderate
Pets allowed: 
No
Net Elevation Gain: 
550.00 ft (167.64 m)
Parking Pass: 
National Park Pass
Preferable Season(s):
Winter
Total Distance: 
2.80 mi (4.51 km)
Trail type: 
Loop
Trailhead Elevation: 
5,440.00 ft (1,658.11 m)
Current Local Weather:
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Adventure Description

Adventure Description

Team

Departing from Paradise Inn, the Paradise Valley Snowshoe Loop is a relatively easy and accessible trail, and it is one of the best ways to experience the breathtaking views of both Mount Rainier and the neighboring, craggy Tatoosh Range.

The trail along the Paradise Valley Route is broad and open with consistent views, and it gradually winds around the valley's bowl as it drops nearly 700 feet to the Narada Falls junction. Here, a short one-way detour will put you atop the 176-foot cascade, which makes for a popular ice climbing location when temperatures are cold enough. The singletrack trail leading back up to Paradise Inn from Narada Falls is too steep to be suitable for cross-country skiing. It is a lovely trail, however, that traverses through a beautiful forest dominated by mountain hemlock, pacific silver fir, and noble fir.

Winter Access, Camping + Permits

Highway 706/Paradise Road up to Paradise is the only maintained and plowed road into Mount Rainier National Park with the exception of adventures that depart from Chinook Pass. Paradise Inn is closed in the winter, but the Jackson Visitor Center (Paradise) is open and staffed on weekends and holidays from mid-October through May. The National Park Inn in Longmire is open year-round.

The gate at Longmire, which allows vehicles up to Paradise, is only open from 9 A.M. to 5 P.M., and it is highly recommended that all vehicles start their return to Longview no later than 4:30 P.M. The gate is only open Thursday through Monday from November 12 through December 21, and the gate opens daily starting December 22.

Other than a National Park Pass, special day use permits are not required. Winter backcountry camping is permitted throughout Mount Rainier National Park once a minimum of 5 feet of snow has accumulated as long as you camp a minimum of 300 feet from all trails and structures. A free backcountry permit is required and can be obtained at the Longmire Information Center and at the Jackson Visitor Center in Paradise. Groups larger than 12 can camp in the designated group campsites at Paradise only.

Backcountry Safety

Winter backcountry adventures can be dangerous outdoor activities that pose significant risks as conditions affecting safety (i.e. weather, snowpack stability, avalanche hazard) are constantly changing. Prior to engaging in these activities each individual should get the proper training to make safe decisions and be equipped to use avalanche safety resources and tools. Please visit our Backcountry Skiing and Avalanche Safety post to learn more.

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Location + Directions

Location + Directions

Nearby Camping + Lodging

(23 within a 30 mile radius)

Nearby Adventures

(69 within a 30 mile radius)

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