One of the most spectacular aspects of Mt. Rainier National Park is its world-renowned wildflower meadows. No matter what the length of your stay, a stroll among these seemingly endless fields of wildflowers is a must-do. Each July and August, Mt. Rainier’s meadows burst with color. Avalanche lilies, paintbrush, asters, daises, cinquefoil, fireweed, purple shooting stars and so many others, blanket the mountain in every color of the rainbow.

Wildflower Viewing Tips

Top Wildflower Viewing Locations


Someone once stated, “a trip to Paradise is going to heaven before you die.” Wildflowers in every shade sway in the breeze, filling meadow upon meadow with brilliant colors. A network of sixteen trails skirt around these meadows. A great choice is the paved Skyline Trail, departing from the visitor center, providing fabulous flower views and it’s suitable for the whole family. Other area hikes with fantastic flower displays are Spray Park, Van Trump Park and Indian Henrys.


On the other side of the mountain, visitors to Sunrise will witness a true alpine ecosystem. Sitting at 1,000 feet higher than Paradise, this ecosystem is especially fragile. In summer, mountain meadows abound with wildflowers; the Sourdough Ridge Trail is a popular, easy 2 ½ mile hike. At their height in summer, visitors can see acre upon acre of vivid wildflowers, with swaths of lupine, paintbrush and red mountain heather.

Chinook Pass/Tipsoo Lake

Many photographers say that the wildflowers at Tipsoo Lake rival anything found at Paradise. Located at the summit of Chinook Pass, this subalpine lake and surrounding area is simply a wildflower seeker’s dream. Stroll through fields of vibrant color – the yellows, oranges, pinks and purples of lupine, Indian paint brush, partridge foot and many others set a dramatic scene. Easy area nature trails meander near the lake offering dazzling views of these world-class wildflower meadows. For a longer day hike, take the Naches Peak trail.

Wildflower Identification Guide

wdt_ID Name Wildflower Color Scientific Name
1 Alpine Aster Blue-purple Aster alpigenus
2 Alpine Phaceliab Blue-purple Phacelia sericea
3 Arnica, Broadleaf Yellow Arnica latifolia
4 Avalanche Lily White Erythronium montanum
5 Beargrass White Xerophyllum tenax
6 Bellflower Blue-purple Campanula piperi
7 Birds Beak Lousewort Red-pink Pedicularis ornithorhyncha
8 Bleeding Heart Pink Dicentra Formosa
9 Bog Orchid White Platanthera dilatata
10 Bracted Lousewort Yellow Pedicularis bracteosa
Name Wildflower Color Scientific Name

Indian Thistle

Cirsium edule, the edible thistle or Indian thistle, is a species of thistle in the genus Cirsium, native to western North America from ...

Columbian Lewisia

Lewisia columbiana is a species of flowering plant in the purslane family known by the common name Columbian lewisia. It ...

Yellow Fritillary

Fritillaria pudica (yellow fritillary) is a small plant found in the sagebrush country in the western United States (Idaho, Montana, ...

Tolmie’s Saxifrage

Micranthes tolmiei is a species of flowering plant known by the common name Tolmie’s saxifrage, or Tolmie’s alpine saxifrage. It ...

Ocean Spray

Holodiscus discolor, commonly known as ocean spray or oceanspray, creambush or ironwood, is a shrub of western North America. It is common in the ...

Rein Orchid

Piperia is a genus of the orchid family Orchidaceae. These plants are known as rein orchids. They are native to ...

Gray’s Licorice Root

Ligusticum grayi is a species of flowering plant in the carrot family known by the common name Gray’s licorice-root. It ...

Rosy Twisted Stalk

Streptopus lanceolatus (rose twisted stalk, rosybells, rose mandarin, scootberry, liverberry, rose-bellwort), is an understory perennial plant native to the forests of ...

Devil’s Club

Devil’s club or devil’s walking stick (Oplopanax horridus, Araliaceae; syn. Echinopanax horridus, Fatsia horrida) is a large understory shrub endemic to the ...