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Mount Rainier In Spring: Weather & Best Things To Do

Traveling In Focus contains affiliate links and is a member of the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program. If you make a purchase using one of these Amazon links, we may receive compensation at no extra cost to you. See our disclaimer for more information.

Mount Rainier in spring – sounds picturesque, doesn’t it?

Well, imagine your snow boots crunching on a pristine white carpet, the scent of pine in the air; it’s a different kind of spring, folks—oh, sorry, we mean, you fabulous people!

Several Mays ago, we found ourselves wrapped up in warm coats, marveling at this majestic snowy spectacle.

Yes, it’s not your typical spring scene; no lush greens or colorful wildflower blooms yet, but there’s something enchantingly peaceful about Mount Rainier under a thick blanket of snow that is just beginning to melt.

And trust us, as seasoned national park aficionados with a special fondness for the parks of Washington, there’s no better time to experience the unique charm of Mount Rainier.

If the idea of swapping spring blossoms for snowflakes and drizzle tickles your fancy, spring just might be the perfect time for you.


Benefits Of Visiting Mount Rainier In Spring

Do you think we’re crazy for recommending a visit to Mount Rainier in spring? Think again!

The winter wonderland vibe is still going strong in early spring and is something to behold. The snow-covered landscapes offer a breathtaking aesthetic, and you’ve got a front-row seat to a spectacular show of icy majesty…without the winter crowds.

By late spring, winter starts to thaw, giving way to trickling streams, previously hidden trails, and gushing waterfalls. It’s like a treasure hunt, but the whole park is your chest of gold.

The mingling of seasons creates a stunning contrast that’s a photographer’s dream.

Picture this: snow-capped peaks against a backdrop of blue skies, greenery beginning to show through at the lower elevations while 10 feet of snow sits at the top of Paradise.

It’s Mother Nature’s two-for-one deal: winter meets spring in a magical blend. Postcard-esque views? Check.

Now, let’s talk about wildlife. As the park awakens from its winter slumber, so do its furry residents.

Marmots peeping from their burrows, deer grazing on fresh grass – it’s like starring in your own National Geographic documentary.

And the icing on this spring cake? Fewer crowds.

While most people wait for mid to late summer to hit the park, you get to enjoy this wonderland relatively free from the tourist hustle.

It’s just you, the mountain, the melting snow, and the promise of spring.

mount rainier seen from reflection lakes at sunset, with the reflection of the moutain along with the pink skies in the water

Monthly Weather For Mount Rainier In The Spring

Curious about Mount Rainier’s springtime weather? Well, you’re in for a treat!

Let’s get this weather forecast party started, shall we, and reveal all the meteorological marvels that await you.

Mount Rainier In March

March at Mount Rainier is like a box of chocolates; you never know what you’re gonna get.

One day, you might be in a winter wonderland; the next, it could be a sneak peek of spring weather.

Fact time: The average temperature during March dances around 35°F, but oh baby, don’t be fooled – it can drop as low as 18°F or shoot up to a balmy 50°F.

Snow? Absolutely! You could be standing in an average of 225 inches of the white stuff.

But hey, don’t let the cold deter you. If anything, the chill adds to the charm.

Mount Rainier In April

April, you cheeky beast! What have you got in store for us at Mount Rainier? Let’s have a look, shall we?

The average temperature during April likes to flutter around 40°F. Hold your gasps!

It can plunge as deep as 26°F or climb to a toastier 54°F. Yes, nature’s rollercoaster, folks.

But that’s not all! April showers? More like April snowfalls!

There’s a decent chance you’ll be hip-deep in 159 inches of frosty goodness.

But not to worry, it’s not all Jack Frost nipping at your nose! You could be blessed with a bluebird day, the sun caressing your face while the snow beneath your feet crunches with every step.

old growth forest in mount rainier national park, tree trucks with moss and greenery fill the scene, taking a walk through the old growth forest is perfect for mount rainier in spring as the snow should be melted

Mount Rainier In May

This month, the mountain starts to shed its winter coat, with temperatures typically lounging in the 50°F ballpark. Don’t drop your snow gear just yet, though!

The mercury can take a nose-dive down to 34°F or decide to play nice and rise to around 66°F.

With the snowfall reducing to about 43 inches, you might find yourself experiencing a freeze-and-thaw cycle more entertaining than a daytime soap opera.

The receding snow uncovers the mountain’s greenery, offering a tantalizing sneak peek of the upcoming summer bloom.

Does It Still Snow In Spring

The enigma that is springtime on Mount Rainier!

You might be tempted to think it’s all sunshine and daisies, but hold onto your hats, folks. This mountain has a few aces up its sleeves.

While winter’s icy reign may have retreated, don’t be fooled. Our good ol’ Mount Rainier, the drama queen that she is, loves to spice things up a bit.

She still receives a decent sprinkling of snow during the spring months from March to May. Of course, we’re not talking about a Winter Wonderland sequel here, but occasional flurries do make a surprise appearance.

And if that wasn’t enough to keep you on your toes, add into the mix some classic Pacific Northwest drizzle.

It’s common to experience sporadic bouts of rain, switching up the scenery from snowy spectacle to misty mountain magic.

📎 Tip: If you’re planning a visit during this season, bring your waterproof boots and raincoats along with hats and gloves. Don’t say we didn’t warn you.

mount rainier at sunset, the sky is filled with orange and there is a haze hanging over mount rainier but you can still see the entirety of the mountain, dark trees in the foreground

5 Best Things To Do In Mount Rainier Spring Season

We’re about to spill the beans on the top things you simply cannot miss when our darling mountain puts on her best spring attire.

Let’s crack open Pandora’s box of Mount Rainier in spring delights!

1. Waterfall Viewing

You might think you’re in for just a drizzle, but spring at Mount Rainier serves up waterfalls with a full-blown, over-the-top, “look-at-me-I’m-a-rockstar” attitude!

Now, who’s the culprit behind this spectacle? It’s the snow melt, of course.

Yes, all that stubbornly lingering snow we talked about earlier, finally makes its grand exit, turning into a cascading star of the show.

It’s like the mountain’s own rendition of the ice bucket challenge, except it’s the waterfalls getting drenched!

A fan favorite is the Comet Falls, accessible even in the window between March and May.

Imagine a 320-foot curtain of water plummeting in stunning fashion, like a rockstar stage diving into a crowd of adoring fans.

It’s not just a waterfall, folks; it’s a performance.

2. Snowshoeing

Who said winter fun had to end with the snowfall? Not on our watch!

Spring at the higher elevations is like winter with a warmer attitude.

We’re talking about plenty of snow coverage but with a dash of sunshine and warmer vibes.

So, what’s a springtime adventurer to do? Snowshoeing, obviously! It’s the perfect way to frolic in the snow while enjoying the crisp, invigorating air of spring.

You can stomp around in the snow, leaving monstrous footprints like some mythical yeti on vacation. Or, indulge in a serene stroll through a glimmering winter wonderland that refuses to check the calendar.

It’s like a mash-up of your favorite winter and spring activities.

You get all the snow but none of the frostbite, and that’s what we call a win-win.

snow in mount rainier is beginning to melt after winter, you can see a small creek or river running through the scene surrounded by snow and some evergreens, mount rainier in spring still has plenty of snow for winter activities but also begins to see it melting for hiking

3. Mount Rainier Spring Hikes

Springtime at Mount Rainier isn’t just about frolicking in the snow at higher elevations; it’s also about embracing the muddy glory of lower-elevation hikes.

Because, as they say, a little mud never hurt anyone, right? In fact, it could be the perfect excuse to buy those new hiking boots you’ve been eyeing (just saying).

Let’s talk about two fantastic lower-elevation trails that are just begging for your footprints during late spring.

First up is the Rampart Ridge Trail.

This bad boy will introduce you to a whole new level of lush greenery and heart-thumping views.

And then you have Twin Firs Loop Trail. It offers a more relaxed stroll through an old-growth forest.

You’ll feel as though you’ve stepped into a fairytale, minus the pesky dragons.

Just remember, these trails will likely be quite soggy in the spring due to snow melt and that pesky drizzle we mentioned, so gear up with waterproof boots and embrace the mud.

Because the best adventures always get you a little dirty!

4. Scenic Drive

Now, let’s address the elephant in the room or, rather, the spectacular route that’s been teasing your adventurous spirit – the road to Paradise.

Yes, you heard that right. It’s not a myth, not a legend, but a slice of heaven that’s open all year round (at least parts of it).

You’ll want to keep your eyes glued to the windows (not literally, please) as the road to Paradise unravels scenic surprises at every bend.

Whether you’re a sucker for breathtaking vistas, a greenery gobbler, or a sky-gazing fanatic, this scenic drive ensures that you don’t leave unsatisfied.

And if you’re all of the above, well, you’re in for a treat!

One thing to note for the spring season. The section between the Nisqually entrance and Longmire is open year-round. The upper parts of the drive may still be closed due to the snow.

We drove it during our May visit, and the upper part of the road was indeed closed. But it was still well worth the drive, and we even saw two foxes at the turnaround point (plus feet of snow higher than us along the roadway!)

The name ‘Paradise’ is clearly not just for show — it holds up to its promise, delivering picture-perfect panoramas that’ll make your camera weep with joy. And we’re not even exaggerating!

Just be prepared for your jaw to hit the floor…metaphorically, of course.

a cabin at the entrance of the park with red shutters and a mirror, the mirror is reflecting the tree located nearby

5. Mount Rainier Stargazing

When the sun bids adieu and cascades of stars take over the sky, that’s when Mount Rainier truly becomes an enchanted land.

As the inky black curtain unfurls, you’ll be left in awe of the celestial spectacle that unravels above you. It’s a mesmerizing dance of twinkling stars and gleaming planets, all playing out in the vast theater of the sky.

The Milky Way, in all its nebulous glory, arcs across the sky, and with a keen eye, you might even spot a shooting star. Or ten. No kidding!

It’s like a cosmic light show, and you’ve got front-row seats. But hey, don’t forget to carry your warm clothes because even though the sight of a million stars might warm your heart, the night air at Mount Rainier can get downright bitter at night in the spring.

Also, remember to bring your telescope if you have one. You’ll get to see the constellations up close and personal and maybe even make friends with the Man on the Moon.

📎 Tip: This one might be the luck of the draw because of the drizzle and grey skies that often envelope Mount Rainier this time of year. But if you get a clear day during your visit, this is a must-do!

Mt Rainier Spring Wildlife

As the frosty curtain of winter recedes, Mount Rainier springs into life, playing host to a colorful array of wildlife. The thawing snow reveals verdant meadows, setting the stage for nature’s captivating show.

In this snow-covered wonderland, the engaging spectacle begins with the sighting of Roosevelt Elk herds grazing nonchalantly amidst the emerald expanse.

Their majestic presence is a sight to behold, especially when they lock antlers during the early spring mating season.

Meanwhile, the song of the American Dipper, a bird uniquely adapted to the cold mountain streams, provides a melodious soundtrack to your springtime adventure.

These little avian divas dive under the icy water in search of food, a performance you wouldn’t want to miss.

As the snow melts at higher elevations, watch out for the elusive black bear venturing out of hibernation with their cubs.

Did you know a black bear cub weighs only half a pound at birth? That’s lighter than a loaf of bread!

Even in spring, Mount Rainier boasts a frosted allure, but beneath the snowy blanket, life is in full swing. Now, isn’t that blooming marvelous?!

two small fox are seen on mount rainier, a close up of the foxes with the front one having its tongue hanging out and the second slightly behind the front one

Spring In Mount Rainier May Not Be For You If

We’re not here to rain on your parade, but Mount Rainier in spring might not be everyone’s cup of tea. It’s not all sunshine and daisies, or in this case, snowy white landscapes.

Sure, the snow-capped vistas are a sight for sore eyes, but they come with a chilly caveat.

Temperatures in spring can still nose-dive below freezing. So, if you’re not a fan of the cold, or if the thought of bundling up in layers of thermal wear gives you the shivers, you might want to reconsider.

Hiking trails remain snowbound well into the season, and the roads are often more suited for husky sleds than for your beloved car.

This can limit access to certain areas of the park, putting a damper on your exploratory spirit.

Furthermore, while the local wildlife is a delight to observe, they aren’t always as thrilled to see us.

Spring can be a sensitive time for wildlife, with many animals nursing their young. This means they might not be in the mood for human interaction and will be more likely to flee rather than endure photos.

So, if you’re expecting a casual springtime stroll, spring in Mount Rainier might not be your jam.

But if you’re up for an exhilarating challenge and want to play in the snow without the below-freezing temperatures, then by all means, come and conquer!

a small waterfall inside mount rainier national park, surrounded by mossy rocks and ferns, mount rainier in spring is the perfect season for waterfalls as the snow melt creates extra flow

Best Places To Stay Near Mount Rainier

Want to stay near the park? We recommend looking into Tacoma. This charming city is merely an hour’s drive from Mount Rainier, and guess what? It’s open all year round!

🛏 Silver Cloud Hotel Tacoma At Point Ruston Waterfront

  • Location Perfection: This hotel is a stone’s throw from prime spots, marrying the tranquility of waterfront views with city amenities.
  • Luxurious Comfort: Silver Cloud offers plush rooms with top-tier amenities that ensure a stay filled with comfort and relaxation.
  • Customer Service Excellence: The hotel prides itself on its warm hospitality, with a dedicated staff ready to exceed your expectations at every turn.

➡️ Check Prices & Availability at Silver Cloud Hotel


🛏 McMenamins Elks Temple

  • Historical Charm: McMenamins Elks Temple is an architectural gem, absolutely dripping in history, offering a unique stay experience.
  • Amenity Galore: With a rooftop bar, brewery, and several dining options, you’re sure to be entertained without stepping out!
  • Location Advantage: Nestled in the heart of Tacoma, the hotel’s location allows easy access to local attractions and downtown delights.

➡️ Check Prices & Availability at McMenamins Elks


🛏 Best Western Plus Tacoma Hotel

  • Location, Location, Location: You’re smack dab in the middle of everything – culture, cuisine, and captivating views. It’s convenience at its peak.
  • Unmatched Comfort: Wrap yourself in comfort with their top-notch rooms and amenities. You’ll wake up feeling refreshed and rejuvenated.
  • Superior Service: Their staff won’t just meet your needs; they’ll anticipate them. That’s right, these folks are practically mind-readers.

➡️ Check Prices & Availability at Best Western Plus


fog rolls in above the tree tops in mount rainier national park along a dry river bed

Best Way To Get Around Mount Rainier

What is the best way to explore the majestic terrain of Mount Rainier? Fire up your car engine and drive!

Public transportation isn’t an option within the park, so it’s just you, your trusty vehicle, and the open road.

While spring brings warmer weather, don’t count on all the roads to be open. Some may still be closed—nature isn’t always cooperative with our schedules, you know.

But hey, don’t get your gears grinding.

The road to Paradise is usually open (at least some of the way), and it’s nothing short of a scenic wonder, winding its way through stunning vistas and breathtaking viewpoints.

So, buckle up, roll down the windows, and let the crisp mountain air fill your lungs.

If you have flown into Seattle-Tacoma International Airport and need to rent a car, we recommend checking out Discover Cars to compare prices. They carry all the big rental companies in one place, like Hertz and Dollar.

🚙 Check prices for a ride with Discover Cars


mount rainier as the snow begins to melt from reflection lake and new green growth begins to appear, snow and ice still covers part of the lake

Best Mount Rainier Spring Tour

Don’t want to rent a car and drive to Mount Rainier, especially with uncertain road conditions. We completely understand, and this tour from Seattle will be a perfect option for you!

Imagine spending 10 to 11 hours marveling at the splendors of Mt. Rainier National Park. Sounds dreamy, doesn’t it?

This tour isn’t your regular walk in the park, oh no!

It’s a captivating adventure filled with glaciers, waterfalls, lakes, and ancient forests.

Setting off from Seattle, the tour takes you to the park’s Visitor Center at Paradise. Once there, gear up for a one-mile hike to your picnic spot, nestled next to colossal glaciers.

Post picnic, get ready for a visual treat as you visit the cascading Narada Falls and experience the whispering tales of thousand-year-old trees in the old-growth forests.

The icing on the cake? During the spring season, touring Mt Rainier takes an exciting turn with snowshoeing replacing hiking!!

Fear not; even if you’re a newbie, they’ve got you covered, and what an experience it will be to tell your friends!

➡️ Check Prices & Availability for Touring Mt Rainier


Items You Need For Visiting Mt Rainier In Springtime

Ready to hit Mount Rainier? Make sure you pack these items to make your time there safer and more enjoyable.

  • A sturdy pair of hiking boots: Trust us, your feet will thank you later. We recommend ones you don’t mind getting muddy or wet, so waterproof would be ideal!
  • Waterproof clothing: Because, let’s face it, Mother Nature enjoys a good laugh too. The heavens may open for an unexpected snow or rain drizzle.
  • Sunglasses and sunscreen: Sunburn might look funny, but it sure doesn’t feel funny. And that reflection from the snow can be a killer!
  • A hat or beanie: Because a frozen ear isn’t a fashion statement.
  • Layered clothing: Mt. Rainier’s weather is moodier than a teenager.
  • High-energy snacks: Say hello to your new best friends, granola bars and trail mix.
  • Water bottle: Hydrate or die-drate, are we right?
  • Navigation tools: Maps, compass, GPS. Getting lost is only fun in the movies, and phone service might be spotty in the park, so have a backup.
  • First aid kit: A must-have unless you have a superhero healing factor, in which case, lucky you!
the rainforest trail in mount rainier national park, with downed logs full of moss and trees as far as the eye can see

FAQs: Mt Rainier In Spring

Alright, you’ve hung in there with us so far, and we’ve covered all the essentials you’ll need to brace the mood swings of Mt. Rainier. Now, let’s dive into the deep end, shall we?

Brace yourself for the ‘Curious Queries’ section, where we tackle all those burning questions buzzing in your mind about Mt. Rainier in springtime.

Is April A Good Time To Visit Mount Rainier?

April is indeed a spectacular time to visit Mt. Rainier. The park starts to shake off its winter coat, providing an enchanting blend of winter and spring landscapes. Snow activities remain accessible while the lower elevations start to melt, giving you the best of both worlds.

Can You Hike Mt Rainier In Spring?

Certainly, you can hike Mt Rainier in spring, but it’s worth noting that most trails remain snow-covered till late April or early May. That’s when some lower-elevation hikes start to open up, providing a unique blend of snowy landscapes and early bursts of spring flora.

What Is Mt Rainier Like In March?

March at Mount Rainier is a winter wonderland. The park is typically blanketed in snow, offering stunning scenery and a host of winter activities like snowshoeing and cross-country skiing. However, keep in mind that some areas might be inaccessible due to heavy snowfall.

Is Mt Rainier Snowy In April?

Mount Rainier in April is a snow lover’s paradise. The park is still dressed in its winter finery, with snowy vistas as far as the eye can see. However, the warmer weather also heralds the first hints of spring, making it an ideal time for those seeking the perfect blend of winter and springtime activities.

Can You Climb Rainier In April?

Sure, you can attempt to scale Mount Rainier in April, provided you’re an experienced mountaineer with appropriate gear. It’s crucial to note that April is still winter on the mountain, and conditions can be extremely challenging. Avalanches, icefalls, and severe storms are frequent, making it risky for those who aren’t fully prepared.

snow sits along the shore at reflection lake with trees and mount rainier in the background, melting snow is the order of the day in mount rainier in spring

To Finish – Mount Rainier in Spring

You’ve traversed the breadth of the article, and now you’re here. Poised at the cliff’s edge, the entirety of the majestic Mount Rainier in spring sprawled before you.

But let’s remind you of any misconceptions you might still be having about spring in the park.

When we say ‘spring,’ we’re not talking green fields freckled with wildflowers. Nope. Not here.

Early spring at Mount Rainier is a pristine canvas of snow, painting the landscape in a cool, crisp white. Late spring brings snow melt at the lower elevations for incredible waterfalls and muddy hiking.

But if that sounds appealing (and why wouldn’t it?!), grab your waterproof boots, don that cozy winter jacket, and catapult yourself into the wonderful snowy landscape of springtime in Mount Rainier.

Not sure if spring is for you? Maybe you would rather head to Mount Rainier in winter for all the snow activities like skiing and tubing.

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