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Mt Rainier in mid May or early June 2013

posts: 7
Mt Rainier in mid May or early June 2013


I am planning a trip spanning a few days to explore the many areas and seasons of Mt Rainier. Looking to avoid summer crowds and wondering if enough hiking trails and roads are open in May/June. Have you been there at that time of year? Any advice on scenery to focus on or areas of the park or specific trails as nature transitions from winter to spring? Will many of the scenic byways still be closed? Does that really matter?



Woodbury, Minnesota
posts: 24
reviews: 17
1. Re: Mt Rainier in mid May or early June 2013

I don't live in Wa, however, on a trip to Mt. Rainier right before Mem. Day, there was so much snow, all you could do was ski!! I don't think that the bulk of the snow melts until sometime in June. I would check the National Parks website for further info.

Longview, Washington
Destination Expert
for Mount Rainier National Park
posts: 2,465
reviews: 100
2. Re: Mt Rainier in mid May or early June 2013

Check the Mt. Rainier Park website. The snow usually lasts until mid-June.


Seattle, Washington
Destination Expert
for Seattle
posts: 3,636
3. Re: Mt Rainier in mid May or early June 2013

It's not unusual for there to be 10 feet of snow at Paradise on June 1. The roads and parking lots will be open, the trails most likely not. At lower elevations there will be less snow, also less scenery.

Note that in May/June fog and clouds/rain can be a bigger issue in terms of visibility.

Poulsbo, Washington
Destination Expert
for Olympic National Park
posts: 4,837
reviews: 4
4. Re: Mt Rainier in mid May or early June 2013

My favorite place at Rainier in the Spring was at Carbon River. Storms wiped out a lot of the road a few years back. Christy could update you, but I believe you have to add another 5 miles of walking along the old road to get to where the main trail starts. There is some gorgeous forest in there. closest thing to rainforest that I have seen in the Park.

Seattle, Wa
posts: 2,284
reviews: 24
5. Re: Mt Rainier in mid May or early June 2013

Come in September to avoid summer crowds. You should get good weather, all the trails will be clear, there may be some fall color starting, the elk will be bugling...May and June are too snowy. Not only are all (literally) the alpine trails buried, but the road to Sunrise won't even be open yet. Also June is quite overcast here.

Glaciermeadow is right about the Carbon River trail. It used to be a good low elevation spring hike but the road has washed out and you need to walk 5 miles to even get to the old trailhead.

posts: 7
6. Re: Mt Rainier in mid May or early June 2013

Thank you! September it is!

7. Re: Mt Rainier in mid May or early June 2013

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