Map of Winter Hiking and Snowshoeing in Mt Rainier National Park including United States Of America

Explore the surrounds of a snow covered Mt Rainier volcano on snowshoes

Strap on snowshoes and explore Mount Rainier National Park in winter, when tourists are outnumbered by animals and snow drapes the landscape in a soft white blanket. Explore the diversity and beauty of this famous National Park, from its frozen mountain lakes and glaciers to waterfalls, rivers and snow slopes. With an expert snowshoe guide by your side, you’ll immerse yourself unspoiled wilderness and traverse gentle terrain beneath the high peaks near the Continental Divide, walk alongside frozen lakes and explore mountain meadows where elk, lynx and even rare wolverines may be seen. At this time of year, there are fewer tourists and local wildlife is more active, making this the perfect holiday for animal lovers.


Start
Olympia, United States
Finish
Olympia, United States
Destination
United States
Style
Original
Theme
Walking & Trekking, Winter Active
Code
SKXWM
Physical rating
Ages
Min 12
Group size
Min 2, Max 10

Why you'll love this trip

  • Experience the beauty of winter in Mount Rainier National Park when the landscape is draped in a blanket of snow and the silence of this famous national park wraps you in its peaceful embrace.

  • Take in stunning views of the jagged peaks of the Tatoosh Range and admire the way the ice-covered Reflection Lakes frame the famous view of Mount Rainier.

  • Hike the route that mountaineers use to begin their summit of Mount Rainier and be rewarded with amazing views of the mountain and three other Cascade volcanoes if the weather is good.

  • Keep your eyes open along the trail for the chance to spot voles, hawks and owls, and also deer and elk which gather in great numbers to breed in the winter months.

  • Tuck into freshly prepared, delicious breakfasts and lunches prepared by your leader and sit down together for a meal prepared by the chefs at your lodge every evening.

Is this trip right for you?

  • This trip is new to our range this year. And while we have thoroughly researched every detail of the logistics, new destinations and working with new partners can sometimes throw us some unexpected surprises. More often than not, it’ll be a great surprise. But every now and again there might be a hiccup. We like to think that’s what puts the ‘adventure’ in ‘adventure travel’. 

  • Mount Rainier National Park is prone to sudden temperature and weather shifts. On winter trips, snow is a possibility so you must be fully prepared and follow the recommended clothing list closely.

  • Winter weather can be unpredictable in Mount Rainier National Park so we may need to make itinerary changes to keep the group safe and well at all times. If this occurs, we will do our best to find comparable activities and experiences.

Itinerary

After you’ve been picked up from your Olympia accommodation by your guide, you’ll drive to Longmire for your first hike of the trip along a section of the Wonderland Trail. For the first two miles, you’ll be snowshoeing through beautiful old-growth forests and heading upstream along the turbulent Nisqually River. If the conditions are right and you’re up for the challenge, you’ll cross the footbridge over the Nisqually and head up the narrow Paradise River Valley and its namesake tributary. After the landscape begins to open up again, you’ll reach a pair of stunning waterfalls that make a perfect turnaround spot for the day. From here, you’ll retrace your steps back to Longmire and check-in to your cosy lodge to warm up with a cup of hot chocolate by the fireplace.
Accommodation
  • Lodge (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Wonderland Trail Snowshoeing/Hike
Meals Included
  • Lunch
  • Dinner
Special Information
You will be picked up from your hotel in Olympia between 6am and 9am. Exact time will be advised by your guide on the Welcome Meeting.
Today’s driving time is approximately 2 hours and today’s hiking distance is approximately 6.5 to 11 kilometres (4 to 7 miles) with an elevation gain/loss of 180 to 360 metres (600 to 1200 feet).
After breakfast, head to the Narada Falls trailhead to begin your hike to Reflection Lakes. After a short climb, you’ll come to Stevens Canyon Road which is closed to cars for the winter but open for you to cruise along on your snowshoes. Follow the road past Inspiration Point as you enjoy stellar views of the jagged peaks of the Tatoosh Range to the south. While Reflection Lakes will likely be covered in ice, this won’t stop you from admiring the stunning view of Mount Rainier which makes these lakes famous. As you continue on to Louise Lake, keep a lookout for the gregarious blue jays that frequent this area in the cooler months. Once you’ve had time to soak up the magic of this winter wonderland, head back to the warm comfort of your lodge and a hearty dinner.
Accommodation
  • Lodge (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Reflection Lakes Snowshoeing/Hike
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner
Special Information
Today’s driving time is approximately 45 minutes and today’s hiking distance is approximately 9.5 kilometres (6 miles) with an elevation gain/loss of 245 metres (800 feet).
After an early breakfast, you’ll tackle the biggest challenge of the trip: a hike up the route that mountaineers use to begin their summit attempt of Mount Rainier. Start with a steady climb up the Skyline Trail to a ridge with views of the Nisqually Glacier below. Winter climbs are less common than summer but don’t be surprised if you spot mountaineers making their way to the camp halfway up the mountain. Once you reach the aptly named Panorama Point, you’ll be rewarded with amazing views of Mount Rainier, the Tatoosh Range and three other Cascade volcanoes if the weather is good. Take in the view then continue along the Skyline Trail to Mazama Ridge before hiking down to the open slopes of Edith Creek Basin and back to Paradise where your vehicle awaits. Tonight you’ll be able to warm up by the fire and enjoy a well-earned dinner at the lodge.
Accommodation
  • Lodge (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Panorama Point Snowshoeing/Hike
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner
Special Information
Today’s driving time is approximately 1 hour and today’s hiking distance is approximately 8+ kilometres (5+ miles) with an elevation gain/loss of 600 metres (1800 feet).
Start today with a hike through beautiful old-growth forests filled with Douglas fir and Western Red Cedar trees before ascending a series of switchbacks to reach Rampart Ridge. Nearly halfway through your hike, you’ll reach the highpoint of the day with views of nearby Tumtum Peak and the Nisqually Valley. From here, you’ll gradually descend the ridge with the chance to catch glimpses of Mount Rainier and also red foxes and snowshoe hares scampering through in the snowy forest. When you’ve nearly completed your loop, you’ll join up with the Wonderland Trail which will lead you back to your starting point at Longmire.
Accommodation
  • Lodge (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Rampart Ridge/Wonderland Trail Snowshoeing/Hike
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner
Special Information
Today’s hiking distance is approximately 8 kilometres (5 miles) with an elevation gain/loss of 500 metres (1500 feet).
On your final day, pack up and enjoy a final hike through the Kautz Creek Valley which begins at a lower elevation so you may not need snowshoes for the entire hike. You’ll see the geologic history of the mountains and learn how the landscape is frequently scoured by spring snowmelt, floods and even massive mudflows. After crossing a snow-covered footbridge, you’ll begin climbing switchbacks out of the valley and strap on your snowshoes if you haven’t done so already. From your new vantage point above the valley, enjoy the stunning views of snow-covered Mount Rainier. You’ll have the option to keep climbing or retrace your steps to the vehicle while you enjoy views of the broad meadows and dense forests. After bidding farewell to Mount Rainier, return to your vehicle and drive back to Olympia where your hiking adventure will come to an end.
Included Activities
  • Kautz Creek Valley Snowshoeing/Hike
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
Special Information
Today’s driving time is approximately 2 hours and today’s hiking distance is approximately 8+ kilometres (5+ miles) with an elevation gain/loss of 500 metres (1500 feet).
We aim to be back in Olympia no later than 7pm.

Meals

4 breakfasts, 5 lunches, 4 dinners

Transport

Private vehicle

Accommodation

Mountain Lodge (4 nights)

Included activities

  • Wonderland Trail Snowshoeing/Hike
  • Reflection Lakes Snowshoeing/Hike
  • Panorama Point Snowshoeing/Hike
  • Rampart Ridge/Wonderland Trail Snowshoeing/Hike
  • Kautz Creek Valley Snowshoeing/Hike

Dates & availability

Trip departures are unavailable.

There are currently no scheduled departures on our Winter Hiking and Snowshoeing in Mt Rainier National Park trip. If you are interested in other trips in the region visit one of the links below.

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Important notes

Travellers on Intrepid trips that start on or before 31 December 2022 are required to produce proof of full vaccination against COVID-19. Learn more about Intrepid’s COVID-19 policy.

1. A completed registration form is required to join these trips. You will not be confirmed for the trip until your form has been received and reviewed. We may ask for a medical release signed by your physician for medical conditions or circumstances which could possibly compromise your safety or the safety of others on this trip – please speak to your agent for further details.
2. Travellers on this particular trip are not required to produce proof of full vaccination against COVID-19.
3. A signed disclaimer (Acknowledgement of Risks Form) is required at the time of booking for this trip – please speak to your agent for further details.
4. To help ensure this trip is right for you, this trip is subject to additional ‘Essential Eligibility Requirements’ – see the ‘Itinerary Disclaimer’ section of the Essential Trip Information for further details.
5.This trip is operated and run by Wildland Trekking, an Intrepid company. You will be travelling with a mixture of both Wildland Trekking customers and Intrepid customers.
6. Please note, pre-trip orientation meeting will take place at 5:00 PM day before trip starts via conference call. Your Tour Leader will contact you approximately 2 weeks before your trip to share necessary details.
7. Early on the morning of day 1 (6-9am), you will be picked up from Double Tree by Hilton hotel in Olympia. We recommend you book a pre tour night in that hotel. Your trip will finish on a last day at approximately 7pm.
8. A single supplement is available. The single supplement applies to all nights of the trip and is subject to availability. Please speak to your booking agent for further information.
9. Please note this trip requires a minimum number of booked customers to guarantee the departure. Your Booking Agent will advise at time of booking if the departure has met minimum numbers. If minimum numbers are not met, you will be advised no later than 56 days out from departure (prior to full payment due). We recommend arranging flights and related travel services once your departure is guaranteed. In the event that your departure is cancelled due to minimum numbers not being met, a full refund will be provided of monies paid.

Essential trip information

Want an in-depth insight into this trip? Essential Trip Information provides a detailed itinerary, visa info, how to get to your hotel, what's included - pretty much everything you need to know about this adventure and more.

View Essential Trip Information

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