Elevation Gain
?
Trail type
Loop
Distance
2.80 mi (4.51 km)
Warming hut
No
Please respect the outdoors by practicing Leave No Trace. Learn more about how to apply the principles of Leave No Trace on your next outdoor adventure here.

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.

Recommended Gear

Before you head out on your next Mount Hood adventure, make sure you have the right gear! 

Here's a list of our go-to snowshoeing essentials to get you started:

Snowshoes: MSR Lightning Ascent Snowshoe

Cushioned, Made in USA, Ultralight, 98.8 oz

Men's • $299.95 • MSR | Amazon | Backcountry | REI

Women's • $299.95 • MSR | Amazon | Backcountry | REI

Jacket/Shell: Arc'teryx Zeta AR Jacket

Waterproof, Adjustable Drawcord Hem, Pit Zips, GORE-TEX

Men's • $431-475 • Arc'teryx | Amazon | Backcountry

Women's • $475 • Arc'teryx | Amazon | Backcountry

Pack: Mammut Nirvana Pro Pack 

35L, Carry-On Size, Hip Belt, Ice Axe / Pole Loops, Hydration Compatible

Standard Fit • $189.95-199.95 • Mammut | Amazon | Backcountry

Small Fit • $199.95 • Mammut | Amazon

Insulating Layer: Moosejaw Dequindre Down Jacket

Water-resistant, Insulated, Adjustable Drawcord Hem

Men's and Women's • $179

Poles: Black Diamond Traverse Pole 

Aluminum, Adjustable with Lever Lock System, 21 oz.

$79.95 • Black Diamond | Amazon | Backcountry | REI

Gloves: The North Face GORE-TEX Gloves

Waterproof, Adjustable, Insulated, GORE-TEX

Men's • $99.95-181.63 • The North Face | Amazon | Backcountry

Women's • $99.95-100.00 • The North Face | Backcountry

Boots: Vasque Snowblime UltraDry Boot

Waterproof, Cushioned, Insulated

Men's • $149.99 • Vasque | Amazon | Backcountry

Women's • $149.99 • Vasque | Amazon | Backcountry

Gaiters: Outdoor Research Verglas Gaiter 

Waterproof, Breathable, Lightweight, Abrasion-resistant

Men's • $41.32-65 • Outdoor Research | Amazon | Backcountry | REI

Women's • $49.95-65 • Outdoor Research | Amazon | Backcountry | REI

Logistics + Planning

Preferable season(s)

Winter

Congestion

Moderate

Parking Pass

National Park Pass

Pros

Views of Paradise Valley, Mount Rainier, and the Tatoosh Range.

Cons

Paradise Road gate only open 9 A.M. to 5 P.M.

Pets allowed

Not Allowed

Trailhead Elevation

5,440.00 ft (1,658.11 m)

Net Elevation Gain

550.00 ft (167.64 m)

Features

Big vistas
Historically significant

Typically multi-day

No

Groomed trail

No

Location

Field Guide + Map

Comments

02/06/2011
The best part about snowshoeing is you can pretty much go wherever you want without making an impact on the fragile meadows of Paradise.
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