Paradise Glacier Caves via Skyline Trail is a 5.5 mile moderately trafficked out and back trail located near Paradise Inn, Washington that features a cave and is good for all skill levels. The trail offers a number of activity options and is best used from July until October.
Backcountry ski touring Mazama Ridge and the base of Paradise Glacier on Mt. Rainier Mazama Ridge lies on the southern flank of Mt. Rainier and is a prime winter ski tour when the storms of winter white out the higher ski terrain above Paradise. On days with better weather and visibility, continuing up the same route to the Paradise Glacier and Cowlitz Rocks offers a high alpine touring experience within 2 hours of the Paradise parking lot. The snow if often best in the protected areas of Mazama Ridge, especially in the later part of spring when the sun's intensity can firm up exposed slopes quickly. Cowlitz Rocks is a great destination for snowshoers and can be done with little avalanche danger en route to the rocks.
It's very fun to go when Paradise opens for the first time of the season, lots of snow and plenty of great views underneath the shadow of Rainier.
This is where the Paradise Ice Caves used to be. It's a a moonscape. The Paradise Glacier has receded a great deal over the years. 3/4 of this trail is on the moraine of the Paradise Glacier. For me, great experience . . . But it is a one and done. Trial is in good shape . . Few people take this spur off the skyline trail.
Almost perfect day! Got a late start but it all worked out. Upper 70's to low 80's. A bit of haze made St Helen's just visible. Mt Adams also out but a bit hazy. Fair amount of traffic on the Skyline Trail getting up to the Van Trump monument. After the turn up the trail, we were almost completely alone. Two groups of climbers on the snow fields learning roped ascent and descent. A light breeze made it almost perfect. Even our 7 and 9 year olds made it.
Cool trail with beautiful views.