The 5 Best Mt Rainier Tours From Seattle – [2020 Reviews]

Mount Rainier, as an active volcano, is covered in ice and snow nearly year round. While most tours leaving Seattle to visit Mt Rainier don’t allow access to the snow-covered summit, there is beauty along every trail and tour you take.

As one of the most rugged landscapes in the US, Mount Rainier National Park also offers pristine waterfalls, flowering meadows, river valleys and one of the most ancient forests in the country.

A tour of Mount Rainier National Park is the perfect addition to your Seattle vacation. Get away from the noise and crowds of the city for a day, or 4, and enjoy this once-in-a-lifetime experience.

Best Mt Rainier Tours From Seattle

 Mount Rainier Park All-Inclusive Small Group TourMount Rainier National Park: 4-Day Backpacking TripMt Rainier Day Tour From Seattle
editors choice


Departure Point:Hotel pickup availableMiyar Adventures in RedmondHotel pickup
Departure Time:8:00 AM8:00 AM7:30 AM
Duration:10 hours, 30 minutes4 days10 hours
Includes:Roundtrip transportation, expert natural guide, lunch with snacks and refreshments, all entry feesEntrance and camping fees for the national park, breakfast and dinner, all gear, backpacking guideRoundtrip transportation, professional guide, entry fees

Quick Answer: The 5 Best Rated Mt Rainier Tours From Seattle

  1. Seattle: Mount Rainier Park All-Inclusive Small Group Tour
  2. Mount Rainier National Park: 4-Day Backpacking Trip
  3. Mt Rainier Day Tour from Seattle
  4. Mt Rainier Day Trip from Seattle
  5. Best of Mt Rainier National Park from Seattle: All-Inclusive Small Group Tour

We’ve reviewed the 5 best tours of Mt Rainier while visiting Seattle. Each offers a very different experience, and some can be tailored to you and your own group.


Mount Rainer Tour Reviews

#1 Mount Rainier Park All-Inclusive Small Group Tour

Tour Highlights At A Glance:

  • Departure Point: Hotel pickup available, Hotel Monaco default location
  • Departure Time: 8:00 AM
  • Duration: 10 hours, 30 minutes (approximately)
  • Includes: Luxury roundtrip transportation, expert natural guide, lunch with snacks and refreshments, guided walk or snowshoeing adventure, all entry fees

Be sure to bring your binoculars on this all-day walking or snowshoeing tour of the Mt Rainier National Park. At various locations along the Nisqually Vista Trail, you will be able to see birds, elk, black bears, deer and more.

Enjoy the fresh, clean air with views of waterfalls and other naturally beautiful landmarks such as river valleys and meadows.

Mt Rainier is an active volcano but encased in ice and snow which means temperature conditions can change often and rapidly while traversing the trail.

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Lunch will be provided, made of locally-sourced and organic ingredients. Throughout the small group day trip from Seattle, refreshments such as fresh produce and beverages will be offered.

The tour is kept to small groups so that your expert naturalist can tailor your tour to suit your needs.

Once you book your tour and your adventure begins with pickup at your hotel or at Hotel Monaco, you won’t have to worry about anything except for snapping some great photos with food and drinks, entry fees, and even your expert guide all included.

 

For Tour Prices, Transportation, and Availability:


#2 Mount Rainier National Park: 4-Day Backpacking Trip

Tour Highlights At A Glance:

  • Departure Point: Miyar Adventures in Redmond, WA
  • Departure Time: 8:00 AM
  • Duration: 4 days (approx)
  • Includes: Entrance and camping fees for the national park, breakfast and dinner, all the gear you’ll need, backpacking guide and education

If you’ve never enjoyed a backpacking trip through a national park, the Mt Rainier National Park is a great way to start.

You don’t need to worry about already having the skills and gear for the trip as all will be provided for you. From planning your trip to learning navigation skills, you’ll learn it all before heading out.

Mt Rainier is a rugged environment and while there may be some tougher areas to navigate, there are also many easier regions where you can focus your time on the beauty surrounding you in this pristine wilderness.

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Having some physical strength and stamina is a great asset.

You’ll be trekking through the Carbon River region of Mt Rainier National Park. This region offers views of many types of wildlife that call the park home.

You’ll also be able to experience glaciers and waterfalls, meadows and canyons, and much more natural beauty.

Not only is this 4-day backpacking trip a great introduction to backpacking skills but it’s also the perfect way to experience Mt Rainier.

Spending so much time in the national park will allow you to experience so much more of the beauty of the Pacific Northwest.

 

For Tour Prices, Transportation, and Availability:


#3 Mt Rainier Day Tour From Seattle

Tour Highlights At A Glance:

  • Departure Point: Hotel pickup, Hyatt Regency Seattle default location
  • Departure Time: 7:30 AM
  • Duration: 10 hours (approx)
  • Includes: Roundtrip transportation, professional guide, cooler for personally provided food and beverage items, entry fees

With a maximum of 22 travelers on this day trip from Seattle, you are sure to receive the personalized attention you’re looking for while experiencing the Mt Rainier National Park up close.

This day tour is family-friendly and a great way to spend a day away from the hustle and bustle of Seattle. You’ll stop at several lookout points that offer amazing views of the landscape and wildlife in the park.

You will also stop at the Whittaker School of Mountaineering for a slideshow presentation and at Paradise, the park’s visitor’s center for another presentation.

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No matter the weather conditions, the day trip from Seattle will still proceed as planned. This means it is important to dress appropriately for the weather.

You may also want to dress in layers so it’s easier to adjust with the changes in weather common at Mt Rainier National Park.

There will be plenty of time to stop for lunch. A world-class cafe is available as well as a picnic lunch at a local grocery store and these lunches are at your own expense.

You will also travel a different route by bus back to the city so you can see even more of the beautiful scenery of the Pacific Northwest.

 

For Tour Prices, Transportation, and Availability:


#4 Mt Rainier Day Trip From Seattle

Tour Highlights At A Glance:

  • Departure Point: Free pickup at select hotels
  • Departure Time: 8:00 AM
  • Duration: 10 to 12 hours (approx)
  • Includes: private tour, professional guide, roundtrip air-conditioned transportation

Your professional guide won’t just tell about the geological science and wildlife at the Mt Rainier National Park but will also tell you about the towns you pass along your trip by bus to the park.

The fully narrated tour is designed for you and your party exclusively. You’ll pass Alder Lake, Eatonville, and even pass by old train boxcars that have been repurposed with a new lease on life.

While at the park, you may be able to go snowshoeing or sledding in the winter or experience flowering meadows in the summer.

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Always have your camera ready as you never know what wildlife may come into view, from elk and deer to black bear and the elusive red fox.

Your tour will take place regardless of the weather so dress appropriately and in layers.

Several of the stops during your day trip include the Longmire Visitor’s Center and Museum and the Henry M. Jackson Visitor’s Center where you will enjoy stunning views from 5,400 feet above sea level. Enjoy visits to both Christine Falls and Narada Falls.

 

For Tour Prices, Transportation, and Availability:


#5 Best of Mt Rainier National Park From Seattle: All-Inclusive Small Group Tour

Tour Highlights At A Glance:

  • Departure Point: Hotel pickup, DoubleTree by Kilton Hotel Seattle Airport and Best Western Plus Tacoma Dome Hotel default locations
  • Departure Time: 8:00 AM
  • Duration: 10 hours (approx)
  • Includes: professional guide, all entry fees, roundtrip transportation, breakfast and lunch with snacks and water provided

You’ll head to Mt Rainier, about 75 miles away from downtown Seattle. Your first stop will be just inside the Mt Rainier National Park where you’ll spend up to 2 hours enjoying the stunning mountain views and beautiful waterfalls.

You’ll then spend an hour at Narada Falls, which is taller even than Niagara Falls on the New York and Canadian border. Up next is the Henry M. Jackson Visitor’s Center.

Here, you can pick wild berries along a hiking trail in the summer or traverse a snowshoeing trail in the winter. Snowshoes will be provided.

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Before heading back, you will experience a forest of trees that are more than 1,200 years old at the Grove of the Patriarchs. This forest is only accessible in the winter.

Your small group ensures you are able to hear the fully-narrated tour with a professional guide as well as a customized experience.

Breakfast with fresh tea and pressed coffee will be served before departure and a stop for lunch will be made later on. You will also have access to snacks and water, sparkling or non-sparkling, throughout the day tour from Seattle.

 

For Tour Prices, Transportation, and Availability:


Seattle Travel Guide

Best Mount Rainier Tours

Seattle may be best known for the Space Needle, Puget Sound, and rain, but there are plenty of things to do in and around the city as well as some very unique places to stay and to eat. If you are planning a trip to Seattle, whether for business or pleasure, be sure to take in a bit of the city’s exclusive culture and history.

Airports & Entry

If you are flying into Seattle you will most likely land at Seattle-Tacoma International Airport, or SeaTac for short. While King County International Airport isn’t too far away, it sees much less traffic.

If you are flying in from out of the country, you’ll need to have a valid passport as well as approval from ESTA. ESTA is the Electronic System for Travel Authorization. This authorization is for stays of less than 90 days and works in place of a visa.

Many visitors to Seattle drive to the US across the Canadian border. If you are a Canadian citizen, you will need to have an enhanced driver’s license or ID. If you are from a non-North American country and wish to fly into the Vancouver International Airport, you will need your passport to land there and then your passport and ESTA authorization to drive across the US-Canadian border.

Planning Tips

Most people are guilty of planning their Seattle trip based on what they know, or think they know, about the city. Unfortunately, this can lead to visitors missing out on a lot that the city has to offer. Many things are also important to plan ahead of your trip. Let’s look at our top 5 Seattle vacation planning tips.

Tip #1: Make Dinner Reservations in Advance

While you may not dine at one of Seattle’s busiest restaurants every day of your stay, you will want to at least experience a great seafood restaurant. Most of the best seafood restaurants in Seattle take reservations months in advance, and even further around holidays and peak travel times.

If there are restaurants you know you will want to experience, the best bet is to call well ahead of your trip. If they are taking reservations, you can make them then. If they aren’t or if they don’t take them, you can always ask which day would be the best to visit to avoid crowds.

Tip #2: Book Tours Well in Advance

Whether you plan on taking tours of the city itself or you’d like to take a day trip out of the city to explore the natural environment of the Pacific Northwest, many tours fill up well in advance. Usually, this is because they are small group tours that allow a limited number of travelers on each tour.

Once you know when and for how long you will be in Seattle, find those day tours and book them. That way, you know you have your seat on the tour guaranteed.

Tip #3: Bring an Umbrella

Seattle gets more rain than many other areas of the country, but they may not get as much rain as you assume. For example, August only has 6 rainy days on average. This means that you may not even need the umbrella you bring but it’s better to have one and not need it. A collapsible travel umbrella that can easily be carried with you is ideal.

Tip #4: Don’t Miss Out on Seeing the Great Outdoors

It’s not just the city of Seattle that is worth your time exploring. Mount Rainier, the Cascade Mountains, Mount St. Helens, and even Puget Sound are all great places to experience while you’re already nearby. Day tours offer a fun and affordable way to experience them with transportation usually provided, and oftentimes meals, snacks, and beverages provided as well.

Tip #5: Bring Your Most Comfortable Walking Shoes

In the city, you’ll often find yourself walking to your destination and avoiding the traffic on both side streets and the main freeways. This means your most comfortable walking shoes are going to be your best friend. If you do plan on heading out of the city for a day tour from Seattle, those walking shoes are going to make the walking and hiking much easier.

Restaurants & Eating Out

Seattle is home to many types of cuisine, and it seems to do them all very well. With Asian cuisine and seafood available everywhere you turn, you may also want to check out Paseo for some delicious, authentic Cuban fare.

Gastropubs are now moving into the area and one of the best is Smith. It has a homey feel with décor you’d probably see in a cabin in the woods, but you can’t resist the craft brews and great food. Dick’s Drive-In Restaurant is the oldest fast food restaurant in the city and still serves up burgers cooked with fresh beef and their hand-cut fries are as good as they come.

Nightlife & Entertainment

The Pink Door is a late-night dinner experience like no other. In fact, you’ll enjoy a large menu of delicious food and great drinks while performers put on an acrobatic show right above your head. The Zig Zag Café is another staple of Seattle culture that you won’t want to miss.

If you’re into the newest craze in craft cocktails and enjoy those “small bites” designed to complement them perfectly, the Damn the Weather bar is perfect. However, the Knee High Stocking Company, whose name is derived from the doorbell on the front, is an original speakeasy from the latest prohibition that Seattle endured and still has that same speakeasy vibe.

Getting Around

Traveling by car, whether a rental or taxi, is usually a nightmare in Seattle, especially during morning and afternoon rush hours. If long-distance travel to your destination is needed, the bus system is very efficient. In downtown, the light train is quick and has many convenient stops. It is also one of the best ways to get too and from SeaTac airport.

However, the most convenient way you have of traveling within the city is walking. You will usually get to your destination much more quickly and you’ll see some great, and sometimes unexpected, things on the way there.

Accommodations

If you’re looking to leave the chain hotels behind and experience accommodations that are truly and uniquely Seattle, you have several options. The Ace Hotel Seattle is a perfect blend of cheap and chic. With only 28 rooms, you’ll have first class customer service with a hipster flair.

The Hotel Deca is conveniently located near the University of Washington campus which makes it the perfect place for families in town visiting students or even students touring the campus. It has an art deco flare that makes it a fun way to spend your stay in Seattle.

Other unique hotels in the area include Hotel Max, which is infamous for strangely erotic artwork and a vibe to match. The Hotel 1000 is truly on the cutting edge when it comes to technologically advanced amenities.

Weather

The summer months with the warmest weather and the least amount of rainy days, on average, are the busiest and most expensive months in which to travel to Seattle. However, there are many activities that only happen then. If you are looking for the perfect blend of warm weather and fewer crowds, September is ideal.

December and January are typically the coldest months with average highs in the mid-40s Fahrenheit and mostly rainy days. There are many activities in the city around the time of the winter holidays, especially New Years’ Eve, however.

Attractions

Of course, when visiting Seattle, you don’t want to miss out on the Space Needle or the Seattle Great Wheel, a tall Ferris wheel that offers stunning views of the city especially at sunset. There are many other places to see, however.

Seattle is home to many museums. A few of the most popular ones are the Museum of Pop Culture as well as the Klondike Gold Rush National History Park and the Museum of Flight.

If you are looking for unique attractions, you’ll want to see the 18-foot high troll under a Fremont area bridge and even take a tour of Seattle’s underground.

Sites Seen
Tour Guides
Value

The Mount Rainier Park All-Inclusive Small Group Tour is our Editor's Choice for the best Mt Rainier tour from Seattle with its combination of sites seen, tour guides and value.

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Krysha Thayer

Krysha is a passionate freelance writer who appreciates everything outdoors. Living in rural New Mexico, she enjoys everything from hiking to snowshoeing and 4x4 trail riding to international travel. Being able to combine a love for writing with a love for being in the open, outside air is a dream career come true.

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