Mark Boleske getting ready for the climb at Paradise!
Getting ready at Paradise to begin the first leg to Camp Muir. It's May 15, and its snow all the way!

Departure From Paradise


Will we make the Summit? Only 50% of climbers reach ever the summit!

By 1900 Paradise had become established as the hub of climbing activity with Mount Rainier National Park. The initial explorations from the west, which followed the Nisqually valley to the mountain's base, and the subsequent development of trails and roads into the south side of the Park, made Paradise not only the center of Northwest mountaineering but the mecca for climbers from Europe who sought glacier-crowned peaks in America.

We left Paradise bright and early to allow plenty of time to get to Camp Muir. The hike was entirely on snow, but we didn't need snowshoes or crampons. There was a path from the many previous climbers. We met many happy climbers and a few dejected ones decending back to Paradise. The RMI groups are large and seem militaristic compared to the private parties.


Facilities at Paradise:

  • Steep-roofed Guide House for RMI clients
  • Mount Rainier Ranger Station where climbers pay for their permit and get the lastest route information
  • Paradise Inn, the rustic, historic lodge is only open only in the summer and buried under snow in the winter.
  • Visitor Center has views of the mountain and historical exhibits of Jim Whitaker, the first American to summit Mount Everest.
Mount Rainier from Reflection Lake

Mount Rainier from Reflection Lake. Probably the most classic photograph of the mountain.


Paradise Park presents many and varied charms. It is a somewhat rugged land, with a deep picturesque valley winding through it. The trees grow in isolated groves. Each bunch of dark-green firs and balsams is a cluster of gracefully tapering spires.
Israel C. Russell, 1898


Approximate mileages from nearby cities:            

Seattle Tacoma  Olympia
Nisqually Entrance 80 55 65 
Longmire 86 61  71
Paradise   98 73 83

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