Listed on the National Register of Historic Places, Paradise Inn has greeted millions of visitors to Mount Rainier National Park since its opening on July 1, 1917.
True to the National Park Service's rustic style, the lodge, originally slated to be built in Longmire, was designed by Tacoma-based Frederick Heath of Heath, Gove and Bell and constructed and operated by the Rainier National Park Company, an enterprise of Steven Mather. It so happens that Mather was appointed to be the first director of the National Park Service the same year. The Rainier National Park Service later sold the lodge back to the National Park Service in 1952, and it has been operated by concessionaires ever since. Uniquely, the lodge was primarily constructed of reclaimed local Alaskan cedar that had been left standing dead after a wildfire from 1885, and most of the original furnishings were custom designed by Hans Frähnke, a German-born carpenter, or from the Old Hickory Company of Martinsville, Indiana.
Interestingly, in 1931 a golf course was built at Paradise, with a rope tow ski lift built 5 years later. Luckily both tourist features no longer exist.
Note: Paradise Inn is typically open mid-May through early October based depending on snowpack. Reservations to the lodge can be made by calling 360.569.2275 or booking online via Mount Rainier Guest Services.