Mt. Rainier is an active volcano that can be seen from hundreds of miles away. In the summer months, the lower slopes are covered with wildflowers. Wondering what you can do on Mt. Rainier? Take a look at the ancient forests and network of hiking trails. Experience spectacular hikes and breathtaking views that you will not want to miss.
Many short, easy trails offer the beautiful Rainier. Short trails also lead to hidden waterfalls and subalpine lakes, making this a great destination for hikers. For those who crave more adventure, there are much longer, more strenuous hikes that will take you to Mount Rainier’s viewpoints.
Choose lodging near the park, including hotels, motels, lodges, cabins, and campgrounds, so you have a comfortable place to rest at the end of the day. The choice of accommodation is important, as you should check if it has the amenities and services that are important for you. In this article you will learn more about the different accommodation options inside and outside the park.
Inside the Park Accommodations
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Within the park, only a few options distributed among hotels and lodges. These are only in Paradise, and campgrounds can be found in every region. If you do not want to camp and stay near Sunrise or Ohanapecosh, you will have to stay outside the park, which means some daily travel time.
Some places are bad in style and maintenance, but you do not have many options. You pay for the convenience of having all Rainier’s beauty right at your doorstep, with quick and easy access to the trailhead.
National Park Inn
The National Park Inn in Mount Rainier National Park is open year-round, meaning it is a great home base for off-season adventures. The location is also not as good as the Paradise Inn. It is in Longmire, a 25-minute / 11-mile drive from the Henry M. Jackson Visitor Center at the main parking lot in Paradise.
However, you will have three waterfalls: Comet, Christine, and Narada. It is small, with just 25 rooms in the entire lodge, and choose from various layouts and configurations. Find rooms with one or two beds and private or shared bathrooms. There are no TV, internet, or phones at the National Park Inn.
It was built more than a century ago, in 1916, and it is one of the best places to stay in Mount Rainier National Park in terms of location. You have quick access to the trailheads since it is a walkable distance. By car, it is a few minutes away from just about what Paradise offers.
Get mesmerized by the natural landscapes that are right outside the front door. You are not going to find modern amenities and styles such as TVs. All you have is wood framing and uber-rustic decor. For your stay, book online or call. Make reservations at least two days in advance of the trip’s start.
Three campgrounds in the park serve the three most visited areas Paradise, Sunrise, and Ohanapecosh. There is one campground in each area. Make reservations in advance to secure your stay (Corporatetravelsafety.com). They are closer to attractions like Comet Falls.
Accommodations Outside the ParkAshford
Ashford is the closest town to the Nisqually entrance, around 35 minutes from the main parking area at Paradise. Ashford is a popular gateway to the park and the most beautiful hiking trails. When visiting in summer or fall, Ashford will be the perfect place for your base camp. Ashford has many accommodations, restaurants, and trails. Easily drive into Paradise and enjoy your day exploring everything the area offers.
There is Packwood, the best central location for exploring the park. It offers a place to stay within an hour of Sunrise and Paradise. There is a brewery, a cafe, a burger spot, and a few other places to get food, including a few small markets. It is about 15 minutes away from the southeast entrance to the park.
Packwood Lodge and Cabins has hotel-style rooms and cabins to choose from just 5-10 minutes from the park entrance. The Packwood cabins have full kitchens, a mini fridge, and a microwave. Amenities include free WiFi and an onsite restaurant and barbecues.
Nisqually Lodge is affordable and comfortable but not the most stylish or modern place to stay in Ashford. It features comfortable beds, mini-fridges, and microwaves in each room, and they have different room configurations that can accommodate group sizes.
Packwood is also one of the best towns near Mount Rainier. You have easy access to the Paradise, Sunrise, and Ohanapecosh sections. These three sections are a must-see in Mount Rainier National Park. Packwood also has everything you need for your trip, including accommodations and restaurants.
You can spend your days hiking, taking in the views from roadside lookouts, and returning to Packwood. Packwood may be the perfect town if you want to stay in a central location near multiple sections of Mount Rainier.
It features the Paradise village hotel, where American, Polish, Russian, and local dishes are served at the restaurant. Guest rooms in the hotel are fitted with a coffee machine. A private bathroom equipped with a shower and free toiletries, rooms at Paradise Village also offer free WiFi, while selected rooms with a mountain view. At the accommodation, each room has bed linen and towels.
Cover Sasquatch Cabins is a family’s original cabin and has now joined a collection of short-term rental cabins in Packwood. Looking for a cozy, family-friendly place to stay during your vacations? Sasquatch Chalet is a beautiful cabin convenient to downtown and with a fabulous mountain view. A fun and lovely vacation awaits when at this beauty.
Enjoy some outdoor dining in front of the outdoor wood-burning fireplace. Go to the Toccoa River, where you can fish, raft, kayak, or picnic a half mile from the cabin’s door and the Grumpy Old Men Brewery in downtown Blue Ridge.
Even when it is not ski season, Crystal Mountain is a great place to visit. The gondola makes getting up to the top very easy. In summer, the views are beautiful. Crystal Mountain Resort lies on the sunny side of Mt Rainier, six miles from the Northeast entrance to Mt. Rainier National Park. It is the largest ski resort in Washington (Evo.com). Skiers & snowboarders from all over would like to stay in Crystal Mountain.
The scenic gondola rides, amazing hikes, and fine dining make it a great summer destination. The available accommodation options in Crystal Mountain are Cover Alpine Inn, Four Stone Lodge, and other hotels, motels, and cabins.
Cover Alpine Inn features American fare, sharing the menu with European comfort food at this cozy eatery with a casual ambiance. Four Stone Lodge is close to the Peak Boutique and features men’s and women’s activewear, swimsuits, fashion & athletic accessories, gifts, and logo apparel.
Other Accommodation Options
Greenwater Inn and Suites are for discount lodging and can help you trim your trip expenses, Inn, and Suites give you more hotel savings and alternative accommodations. Greenwater has some nice Bead and Breakfast (B&B) options like Sonesta Select Seattle Renton Suites, with amenities like Complimentary Breakfast and Free WiFi.
Enumclaw is a small town north of Mount Rainier near the Carbon River and Sunrise sections. It features a hiking paradise and stunning trails to waterfalls, lakes, and viewpoints of Mount Rainier. Beautiful scenic drives give you expansive views from easily accessible roadside lookouts. Enumclaw is the perfect place for your base camp.
It has accommodations, many campgrounds, and delicious restaurants close by. It is also not far from Seattle if you want to be near the airport. To explore the northern section of the national park, Enumclaw is the perfect town near Mount Rainier to stay in for your trip. There are covered hotels, motels, cabins, and camping sites.
Choosing the Right Accommodation
Tips on how to choose the right accommodation for your needs and preferences
- Consider location, amenities, price, and reviews.
- Book in advance, especially during the peak season, to secure your spot.
- Check online reviews.
- Examine your needs.
- Use trustworthy booking sites.
- Know your options.
- Know the terms and conditions.
In summary, there are countless lodging options when visiting Mt. Rainier, from inside and outside to lodging near the park in neighboring towns. Weigh your options, keeping in mind your needs and preferences. Do not forget your budget; choose the best accommodation that fits your budget, and do not compromise between comfort, safety and experience and cost. Choose the right accommodation for an unforgettable trip to Mt. Rainier National Park.