Spring Hikes

Spring’s arrival

By the time spring rolls around we are glad to see the snow melt. Though the snowy high country is sublime our hearts begin to yearn for that first long trill of a Varied Thrush, the pink flash of a salmonberry blossom, the blinding white blossoms of trilliums and at higher elevations, flowery constellations of yellow glacier lilies and white avalanche lilies.

Spring is bi-polar. Summer one minute, winter the next. Trails may be snow-free but are often muddy. Wear boots and gaiters and dress accordingly. Get an up-to-date weather forecast, check with the park before you go to make sure the trail you want to explore is open.

Be prepared for the unexpected any time of the year and enjoy our bountiful park.

Palisades Trail (Hwy 410)

When it still feels like winter, the Palisades often feels like spring. Look for delicate Calypso orchids; enjoy the scent of vanilla leaf, and view the groundcover — a thick carpet of salal, ...

Greenwater Lakes

Greenwater Lakes has picturesque bridges, waterfalls and old growth trees, not to mention two peaceful lakes and a pristine river - all create a brilliant ambiance on the year-round hike along the Greenwater Lakes Trail.  ...

Packwood Lake

The Packwood Lake trail is open to hikers and equestrians; mountain bikes, motorcycles, and ATVs are prohibited. Learn more at VisitRainier.com.  ...

Rampart Ridge Trail

Hike along an old lava flow high above the Nisqually River Valley. While the way is mostly forested, there are a couple of decent views along the trail including a pretty awe-inspiring one of the mountain rising above the Kautz Creek valley. ...

Trail of the Shadows

Trail of the Shadows is a popular trail that is kid-friendly, considered easy, and is located in the Longmire part of Mt. Rainier National Park.  ...

Boundary Trail – Carbon River

Boundary Trail - Carbon River is a 2.6-mile roundtrip hike in an inland temperate rainforest, part of Mount Rainier National Park.  ...

Melmont Ghost Town

The Melmont Ghost Town is dog-friendly accessible via a 3.84-mile roundtrip hike with views of the Fairfax Bridge, and the Melmont School ruins.  ...

Rainforest Nature Loop Trail

Treat yourself to a walk along the Rainforest Nature Loop, a short nature trail just inside the Carbon River entrance of the park.  ...

Laughingwater Creek Trail

Laughingwater Creek Trail is a strenuous 12-miles roundtrip hike in the Cayuse Pass area that requires no forest pass. Learn more at VisitRainier.com.  ...

Eastside Trail – Lower

One of the longest trails within Mount Rainier National Park, the Eastside Trail is also one of the park’s quieter trails. Spanning the park’s eastern reaches from Chinook Pass to the Ohanapecosh Campground, the Eastside Trail traverses alpine meadows, primeval forest and a valley ...