Winter weather seems to be overstaying its welcome.

It's been anything but a typical spring in our area, especially in higher elevations.

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It's not your typical spring. Colder temperatures and continuous snowfall will make visiting the mountain dangerous at times. While there is always snow well into June, this year, there is a lot more snow.

What can you expect if you're wanting to hike Mount Rainier?

Deep snow, rapidly changing weather conditions, and snow hazards can make hiking dangerous and at times, it can be tragic.


Always check the Northwest Avalanche Center Report and the Mount Rainier Recreational Weather Report before you plan a hiking excursion. High snowbanks and drop-offs are created by snowplows. You can call the Longmire Information Center between 9 am and 4 pm if you have questions. 360-569-6650.

The key to a safe visit is planning and preparation.


Do you know how to hike in the snow? Do you know how to travel in the snow? Do you have a backup plan in case you somehow get injured? Would you be ok if you get stranded and must spend a night on the mountain?

Some tips for a safe hike from

Always leave word with someone on the specifics of where you’re going and when you expect to be home. It is always safest to not travel alone.
Many trails and routes are still snow-covered and will be well into the summer.
Choose to turn around instead of crossing steep, snow-covered slopes. A fall could be disastrous. Comet Falls and Pinnacle Peak trails often have hazardous slopes. Take an ice axe if you know how to use it.

Recently the North Cascades Highway opened for the season.

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