Snowshoeing the Nisqually Vista Loop at Mt. Rainier NP

Snowshoeing the Nisqually Vista Loop at Mt. Rainier NP

Nisqually Vista Loop, Mt. Rainier National Park, WA

Distance

1.4 Miles

Activities

Photography, Skiing, Snowshoeing

Skill

Beginner

Season

Spring, Winter

Type

Loop

Bathrooms
Easy Parking
Family Friendly
Forest
Scenic

Hike this quiet, mostly flat trail that leads to amazing Views of Mt. Rainier. This spot makes for great Winter Photography.

Mt. Rainier rises over 14,410 feet and the views you get from the Paradise area on the South side of the mountain are unparalleled. Paradise is one of the few places in Mt. Rainier National Park that is open to visitors during the winter months for cross country skiing, snowshoeing, sledding, and many other winter activities. Most visitors to the Paradise area will park at the main parking lot and go up the Alta Vista Trail, which in its own right, is spectacular, but if one is looking for a bit more solitude, then the Nisqually Vista Loop is the perfect trail.

To get to the trailhead, drive into the National Park through the Nisqually Entrance on the Southwest corner of the park. From there, drive 19 miles up the road to the Paradise area. The road ends in Paradise during the winter months as they do not plow past this point. Right before you reach the Paradise parking lot, there is a smaller parking lot just a 1/4 mile before the main lot. Pull into this lot and park near the far end. The trailhead begins here, next to the two small buildings where you will have to walk up the snowbank about 20 or so feet to make your way on the trail. After about a 1/3 mile, the trail will fork as this is the main loop. Head in either direction and make your way around the loop through the forest comprised of Pacific Silver fir, subalpine fir and mountain hemlock. At the far corner of the loop, there will be a viewpoint where you will be situated 800 feet above the scenic Nisqually river as well as the massive Nisqually glacier. The glacier is retreating faster and faster every year, but it is still quite impressive. If done at a casual pace, this snowshoe excursion should take around 45 minutes to an hour leaving plenty of time to explore other areas of Mt. Rainier during the short winter days. The snow is on the trail sometimes all the way until late June, so snowshoeing here is possible late into spring.

Community Photos

Always practice Leave No Trace ethics on your adventures and follow local regulations.

Nearby Lodging

From $400/night

LOGE at The Pass Life

Snoqualmie Pass, Washington

From $55/night

LOGE Leavenworth

Leavenworth, Washington

Reviews

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Overall rating: 

First Snow Shoe Trip

Took my 4 year old on a Ranger led Snow shoe and had a blast! Easy trail, friendly people, and no shortage of beautiful scenery!

Distance

1.4 Miles

Activities

Photography, Skiing, Snowshoeing

Skill

Beginner

Season

Spring, Winter

Type

Loop

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Winter Camp at Glacier Vista

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Hike to Camp Muir, Mt. Rainier

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Hike the Skyline Loop in Mt. Rainier NP

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Hike to Panorama Point

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