April Snow At Paradise
Mt Rainier National Park
Along Highway 706 east of Ashford
Paradise features great views of Mt. Rainier, lots of hiking trails and colorful wildflowers - in the summer. During winter it is buried in several feet of snow that lasts well into spring (it averages more than 50 feet of snow every winter). Visitors come here for cross-country skiing, snowshoeing, sledding and tubing. I grew up in the snowy Midwest, but I'm amazed by how deep the snow gets here, so I come here for the photography.
Highway 706 east out of Ashford is generally kept open during the winter through Longmire and only to Paradise. It can be well into June before the highway is opened all the way through to the east entrance into the park.
Deep April Snow at Paradise, Mt. Rainier (Z04A0011)
That's my car parked by the snowpack. This is an old photo; the visitor center shown in the photo has been replaced with a new facility.
Mt. Rainier at Paradise in April (Z04A0012)
Another Look at Mt. Rainier at Paradise in April (Z04A0013)
Mt. Rainier in April from Longmire (Z04A0014)
Longmire, at about 2700 feet elevation, is a 12-mile drive west of Paradise, which is just over 5400 feet elevation. They are even closer as the crow flies. But that 2700 feet difference in elevation is huge when it comes to snowfall and snowmelt. All four pictures were taken on the same day, and yet conditions at Longmire were warm and snow-free.
More About Paradise At Mt. Rainier
When there is snow on the ground, wear your sunglasses as it can be quite bright on a sunny day. The park's main visitor center is located here. Visitors can find some services here and 12 miles to the west at Longmire.
You may also like these Mt. Rainier destinations:
- Skyline Trail At Paradise, Mt Rainier National Park, Washington
- Reflection Lakes, Mt Rainier National Park, Washington
- Narada Falls, Mt Rainier National Park, Washington
While you're in the area, check out these sights:
- Windy Ridge Observatory, Mt St Helens National Volcanic Monument
- Naches Art Deco Spire, Naches, Washington
- Logging Legacy Memorial, Enumclaw, Washington