Climbing Mt Rainier is the perfect adventure if you’re an outdoorsy traveler looking for your next challenge. This is the tallest mountain in the state of Washington, stretching up to a height of over 14,000 feet, and this glacier-covered behemoth is not for the casual mountain climber—tackling Rainier should only be attempted by experienced climbers.
That being said, Mt Rainier National Park offers one of the most rewarding climbs in the state too. If you think you can cope with rapidly changing weather, the danger of avalanches, and trekking over glaciers, the thrill of reaching the summit could be yours. For accommodation in the area, check out the Mt Rainier Paradise Lodge. You can also reserve campsites along the route.
Statistics about climbing Mt Rainier can be surprising. While only experienced climbers are advised to try and climb this mountain, many of them still fail. In fact, on a very serious note, this mountain claims more lives each year than any other of the Cascade Mountains. In other words, this is not the place to work on your climbing skills. However, thousands of people climb the mountain successfully each year, and there are local guides and guided climb groups who can make sure you have the safest possible experience, which means you can enjoy the challenge—and the views from the top—with a little more peace of mind. Be sure to bring good, well-broken in hiking boots, plenty of layers of clothes, and any climbing equipment your guide recommends.
Winter climbing is possible, but the easiest time is to climb during the summer, when there is less snow on the mountain. You must register with the National Park Service and get a permit, and if you intend to climb solo, you must also get written permission from the park superintendent; as a safety precaution, climbing alone is not allowed without this form. Mt Rainier National Park is known as being a real trophy for experienced climbers. If you’ve reached the top, you will earn serious respect among other climbers. Reaching the summit of this massive volcano might just be the peak of all your climbing experiences.