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Winter Hiking and Snowshoeing in Mt Rainier National Park


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.

5 days, from

$3,115

per person

GROUP SIZE

10 people max

ACTIVITY LEVEL

4
Trip code: SKXWM
Style: Original
Theme: Walking & Trekking
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Details

Countries Visited:  United States Of America
Accommodation: Mountain Lodge (4 nights)
Transportation: Private vehicle
Meals: 4 dinners, 4 breakfasts
Group size: Minimum 2, Max 10

  • 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.

Itinerary

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Day 1: Olympia to Mt Rainier National Park - Wonderland Trail snowshoeing

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.

Day 2: Mt Rainier National Park - Reflection Lakes Snowshoeing

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.

Day 3: Mt Rainier National Park - Skyline Trail/Panorama Point Snowshoeing

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.

Day 4: Mt Rainier National Park - Rampart Ridge Snowshoeing

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.

Day 5: Mt Rainier National Park - Kautz Creek Valley Snowshoeing/Hiking

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.

5 days, from $3,115

to book call 1-844-205-6226


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