Mt Rainier in the Winter
Rental Equipment Locations
National Park Inn General Store at Longmire
Inside Mt. Rainier National Park
Nordic Yurt at White Pass Ski Area
48935 US Hwy 12, Naches, WA 98937
(located at the summit of White Pass)
58703 SR 410 E., Greenwater, WA 98022
Enumclaw Ski & Mountain Sports
240 Roosevelt Ave. E., Enumclaw, WA 98022
Sno-parks And Snowmobiles
The Washington state Parks and Recreation maintains a number of Sno-Parks around the National Park for parking vehicles for winter recreation, for both motorized and non-motorized use. They are solely supported by user fees. Permits are available at various retail locations around the state, or by mail from Washington state Parks, Winter Recreation Program, PO Box 42662, Olympia, WA 98504-2662. After November 15, they are also available online. Directions to snowmobile Sno-Parks and trail reports can be found on the WA state parks website. Additional information can be obtained by calling (360) 902-8684.
There are three Sno-Parks located in the Elbe/Ashford area. Information may be obtained by calling Mt. Tahoma Trails Association at (360) 569-2451. Numerous Sno-Parks are located along SR 410, northwest of Naches and on Us 12, west of Naches, both for motorized and non-motorized use. Information may be obtained at the Naches Ranger District, (509) 653-1400, or by visiting their website.
Near Ashford, the Catt Creek Road is accessible for snowplay activities. Turn right off Hwy 706 on Kernahan Rd (also known as Skate Creek Road), located 2.6 miles from Visitor Center in Ashford. Continue about 1.4 miles and then turn right on Osborne Road, followed by an immediate left onto the #85 road. The road is paved for 6 miles. Park at the green gate. Another popular area can be accessed from the #59 Road on the North side of Hwy 706 near Copper Creek. The road is not plowed so use caution and carry chains.
In the White River area, 25 miles east of Enumclaw, the Suntop Sno-Park is a non-groomed area for all non-motorized users. Pyramid Creek is available for motorized recreational vehicles.
Mount Rainier National Park And Snowmobiles
Snowmobiling is allowed in the southwest corner of the park along a 6.5-mile stretch of the West Side Road as far as Round Pass. It is also permitted on the road loops of Cougar Rock Campground.
Snowmobiles are permitted on the 12-mile section of unplowed road from the North Park Boundary on Highway 410 to the White River Campground.
Snowmobiles may not continue on Hwy 410 south of the White River Road turnoff. In the southeast corner of the park, snowmobiling is allowed on the Stevens Canyon Road from the Stevens Canyon Entrance to the road tunnel at Box Canyon.
Visit the Mt. Rainier National Park website for more information.
Sledding & Tubing
Current Conditions At Paradise
The Paradise snowplay/sledding area is closed for 2023.
Sledding & Tubing
|WHERE:||The snowplay area is located north of the upper parking lot at Paradise|
|WHEN:||Historically the snowplay area opens when weather conditions permit in late December and would usually close late March, depending on seasonal conditions.|
|WHAT:||“Soft” sliding devices such as flexible sleds, inner tubes, and saucers are allowed. No hard toboggans or runner sleds.|
|RENT:||Inside the park, plastic sleds are for sale at the Longmire General Store (open daily) and at the Jackson Visitor Center at Paradise (open weekends and holidays during the winter season). Outside the park, sleds and inner tube rentals are available at Whittaker’s Mountaineering in Ashford.|
|MAP:||Map, Rules & More Info Here|
|COST:||Other than the fee to enter the national park, there is no additional fee to use the sledding or tubing area or to park at Paradise.|
Families looking for fun winter activities in Mt Rainier National Park, such as sledding and snowshoeing, can bundle up and head to the Snowplay Area at Paradise. Open during weekends and school breaks in winter, the Snowplay Area is the one established area in the park where sledding is permitted.
From the upper parking lot, you’ll need to walk up a short hill to the Snowplay Area above the historic Paradise Inn and the newly remodeled Jackson Visitor Center. There you’ll see folks of all ages zooming down the runs in plastic sleds, saucers, and inner tubes. For safety, no hard toboggans or runner sleds are allowed.
With our bright yellow sled in hand, my husband, son, and I lined up at the top of the two runs. Our son Finn, two years old, enjoyed his first time sledding. He laughed with delight as we sped down the run, several hundred feet in length. On the run beside us, a group of teenagers cheered each other on.
Q: Do we need to make reservations to use the sledding/tubing area?
A: No, reservations to go sledding are not required.
Q: Does using the sledding/tubing area at Mount Rainier cost extra money to use snowplay or park our vehicle at Paradise?
A: No, once you pay to enter Mount Rainier National Park you do not need to pay any extra fees to use the snowplay area. Access to the sledding/tubing area and parking are included.
Q: Is there a public restroom near the sledding area?
A: Yes there is, however it is not heated.
Q: Do I need chains for my vehicle, even if I have an SUV?
A: Yes, all vehicles are required to carry chains or traction devices when entering Mount Rainier National Park during the period of November 1 thru May 1. Review the Tire Chain Frequently Asked Questions for more information.
Q: What is the address of the sledding area? I want to plug it into my GPS.
A: There isn’t a physical address of the snowplay area. Your best bet is to use this address which will get you to the Nisqually Entrance of the park 39000 State Route 706 E. Ashford, WA 98304. Once in the park follow the road to Longmire, and then continue up to Paradise. The snowplay area is easily seen from the parking lot next to the Henry M. Jackson visitor center.
Q: Can we rent tubes or sleds at snowplay?
A: No. You’ll need to bring your own inflatable, plastic, or other soft-sided sleds with you. There are no rentals available at Snowplay.
Q: Is snowplay open on the weekdays and weekends?
A: Snowplay can be open on weekdays and weekends, remember the status of snowplay is dependent on weather, road, and safety conditions.
Q: What are the hours of snowplay? When does it open and when does it close?
A: There isn’t a published operating schedule for the sledding and tubing area because the status of snowplay is dependent on weather, road, and safety conditions.
Q: How do I know if snowplay is open?
A: Because the status of snowplay is dependent on weather, road, and safety conditions the best thing to do is to check the park’s Twitter feed. The park will assess conditions daily and post an update on their Twitter feed. You do not need a Twitter account to read these updates. In the winter the general rule is, once snowplay opens for the season if the Road to Paradise is open then snowplay is open. https://twitter.com/MountRainierNPS
Q: Where’s the nearest lodging to the sledding area?
Q: If I arrive at snowplay and find it’s really busy is there an alternative sledding area at the park that I can go to?
A: No, there is no other area in Mount Rainier National Park where sledding or tubing is allowed. The official snowplay at Paradise is the only area to sled or tube at Mount Rainier. To be clear, do not attempt sledding or tubing in any other area at Mount Rainier National Park, it is unsafe and not permitted.
Q: Who can I call if I have questions about the sledding area?
Rental Equipment Locations
National Park Inn General Store at Longmire | Website
Whittaker Mountaineering in Ashford | Website
White Pass Sports Hut in Packwood | Website
Nordic Yurt at White Pass Ski Area | Website
Greenwater Collective in Greenwater | Website
Crystal Mountain Resort | Website
Enumclaw Ski & Mountain Sports | Website
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