Paradise, Washington

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Paradise
Hikers and wildflowers along the Paradise River near its source
Hikers and wildflowers along the Paradise River near its source
Paradise is located in the United States
Paradise
Paradise
Location in the United States
Paradise is located in Washington (state)
Paradise
Paradise
Location in Washington
Coordinates: 46°47′9.03″N 121°44′15.43″W / 46.7858417°N 121.7376194°W / 46.7858417; -121.7376194Coordinates: 46°47′9.03″N 121°44′15.43″W / 46.7858417°N 121.7376194°W / 46.7858417; -121.7376194
CountryUnited States
StateWashington
CountyPierce
Elevation
5,400 ft (1,600 m)
Time zoneUTC-8 (Pacific (PST))
 • Summer (DST)UTC-7 (PDT)

Paradise is the name of an area at approximately 5,400 feet (1,600 m) on the south slope of Mount Rainier in Mount Rainier National Park in Washington, United States. Southeast of Seattle, the area lies on the border of Pierce and Lewis counties and includes the Paradise Valley and the Paradise Glacier, the source of the Paradise River.[1] Virinda Longmire named Paradise in the summer of 1885 while she viewed the wildflowers in the alpine meadows there.[2][3] Paradise also offers views of Mount Rainier and the Tatoosh Range.[4]

Tourism and history[edit]

Paradise is the most popular destination for visitors to Mount Rainier National Park.[3] 62% of the over 1.3 million people who visited the park in 2000 went to Paradise.[5] The road from the Nisqually entrance of the National Park to Paradise (State Route 706) is one of the few roads in the park open to automobiles in the winter.

Paradise is the location of the historic Paradise Inn (built 1916),[6] Paradise Guide House (built 1920) and Henry M. Jackson Visitor Center (built 1966; replaced 2008; original building demolished 2009).[7] The inn is listed in the National Register of Historic Places. The historic center of Paradise was designated the Paradise Historic District.[8]

Henry M. Jackson Visitor Center

A golf course was built in the area in 1931; five years later, a rope tow for alpine skiing was installed.[9] These were both added as facilities for use by the guests of the inn.[6] From 1942 to 1943, the U.S. Army used the inn to house troops (87th Mountain Infantry) training for winter mountain conditions.[6]

The National Park Service undertook a two-year, $30 million project to perform renovations and structural work to allow the inn withstand a large earthquake and to replace the "flying saucer-shaped"[3] Henry M. Jackson Visitor Center with a new building of the same name complementing the historic lodge. The inn re-opened in 2008, along with the new visitor center. The old visitor center was demolished in 2009.[10][11]

Panorama of Paradise from Skyline Trail. The visitor center, inn, and parking lot are visible near the right side. Mount Adams is visible in the distance.

Climate[edit]

The National Park Service says that "Paradise is the snowiest place on Earth where snowfall is measured regularly."[12] 1,122 inches (93.5 ft, 28.5 m) of snow fell during the winter of 1971–1972, setting a world record at the time. The minimum annual snowfall at Paradise was 266 inches in the winter of 2014–15, and the maximum snowpack was 367 inches (30.6 ft, 9.3 m) on March 9–10, 1956. No snowfall measurements were made from 1943 to 1946 as the road to Paradise was closed during World War II.[12][13] The high snowfall is in spite of no month recording average highs below freezing. Under the Köppen climate classification Paradise has a subpolar oceanic climate that may also be described as subarctic or subalpine.

Climate data for Paradise Ranger Station, 1991–2020 normals, extremes 1916–present
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Record high °F (°C) 65
(18)
63
(17)
70
(21)
78
(26)
83
(28)
90
(32)
92
(33)
92
(33)
89
(32)
88
(31)
78
(26)
63
(17)
92
(33)
Mean maximum °F (°C) 48.9
(9.4)
49.9
(9.9)
52.2
(11.2)
59.5
(15.3)
68.4
(20.2)
72.1
(22.3)
78.6
(25.9)
78.9
(26.1)
75.6
(24.2)
65.6
(18.7)
54.4
(12.4)
48.0
(8.9)
81.4
(27.4)
Average high °F (°C) 34.5
(1.4)
34.1
(1.2)
35.7
(2.1)
40.0
(4.4)
48.2
(9.0)
53.6
(12.0)
62.2
(16.8)
63.6
(17.6)
57.4
(14.1)
46.4
(8.0)
37.0
(2.8)
32.6
(0.3)
45.4
(7.5)
Daily mean °F (°C) 29.2
(−1.6)
28.3
(−2.1)
29.7
(−1.3)
33.2
(0.7)
40.6
(4.8)
45.2
(7.3)
53.1
(11.7)
54.4
(12.4)
49.3
(9.6)
39.6
(4.2)
31.5
(−0.3)
27.3
(−2.6)
38.5
(3.6)
Average low °F (°C) 23.8
(−4.6)
22.6
(−5.2)
23.6
(−4.7)
26.4
(−3.1)
33.0
(0.6)
36.8
(2.7)
43.9
(6.6)
45.2
(7.3)
41.2
(5.1)
32.8
(0.4)
26.0
(−3.3)
22.0
(−5.6)
31.4
(−0.3)
Mean minimum °F (°C) 11.8
(−11.2)
9.6
(−12.4)
12.3
(−10.9)
16.0
(−8.9)
21.2
(−6.0)
26.3
(−3.2)
32.1
(0.1)
33.3
(0.7)
29.9
(−1.2)
19.6
(−6.9)
13.6
(−10.2)
9.4
(−12.6)
3.4
(−15.9)
Record low °F (°C) −13
(−25)
−18
(−28)
−2
(−19)
2
(−17)
10
(−12)
13
(−11)
15
(−9)
22
(−6)
18
(−8)
2
(−17)
−11
(−24)
−20
(−29)
−20
(−29)
Average precipitation inches (mm) 17.22
(437)
12.93
(328)
13.21
(336)
8.35
(212)
5.08
(129)
3.84
(98)
1.41
(36)
1.64
(42)
4.43
(113)
11.25
(286)
18.16
(461)
18.92
(481)
116.44
(2,959)
Average snowfall inches (cm) 118.7
(301)
91.6
(233)
90.6
(230)
67.5
(171)
26.1
(66)
5.6
(14)
0.3
(0.76)
0.0
(0.0)
1.4
(3.6)
24.1
(61)
120.9
(307)
124.0
(315)
670.8
(1,702.36)
Average extreme snow depth inches (mm) 135.2
(343)
159.7
(406)
184.9
(470)
187.4
(476)
164.6
(418)
113.2
(288)
44.8
(114)
5.4
(14)
1.0
(2.5)
12.0
(30)
48.4
(123)
99.0
(251)
195.2
(496)
Average precipitation days (≥ 0.01 in) 21.1 17.8 21.5 18.8 15.4 12.8 7.3 6.6 9.6 15.0 21.7 21.1 188.7
Average snowy days (≥ 0.1 in) 18.5 15.9 19.5 14.4 7.9 2.5 0.2 0.0 0.7 6.2 16.6 19.0 121.4
Source 1: National Weather Service[14]
Source 2: NOAA (average snowfall/snowy days and precip days 1981-2010)[15][16]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Mt. Rainier National Park (Map) (Centennial ed.). 1 : 30,000. Cartography by Charles B. Kitterman / Kulshan Cartographic Services. Stanley Maps. 2000. ISBN 0-9662209-4-3.
  2. ^ Haines, Aubrey L. (1999) [1962]. Mountain fever:historic conquests of Rainier. Original publisher: Oregon Historical Society; Republished by University of Washington. pp. 81. ISBN 0-295-97847-3.
  3. ^ a b c Pitcher, Don (June 12, 2002). Moon Handbooks Washington. Moon Handbooks (7th ed.). Avalon Travel Publishing. pp. 615–616. ISBN 1-56691-386-1.
  4. ^ "Building isn't quite paradise. Eugene Register-Guard, June 14, 1999. Accessed on July 15, 2011, from Google News Archive.
  5. ^ "Mount Rainier National Park Visitor Study Brochure" (PDF). Visitor Services Project. National Park Service. March 31, 2003. Retrieved 2007-05-22.
  6. ^ a b c Barnes, Christine (April 2002). Great Lodges of the National Parks: The Companion Book to the PBS Television Series. Photography by Pfulghoft, Fred; Morris, David. W W West. pp. 48–57. ISBN 0-9653924-5-7.
  7. ^ "Mt. Rainier National Park Centennial Timeline 1960s". Mount Rainier National Park Centennial Celebration. National Park Service. 1999. Retrieved 2007-05-22. 1966: The Paradise Visitor Center (in 1987 dedicated as the Henry M. Jackson Visitor Center), is opened to the public in September.
  8. ^ "National Register Information System". National Register of Historic Places. National Park Service. March 13, 2009.
  9. ^ "The skiing is great at Mount Rainier". Reading Eagle. (Pennsylvania). (photo). January 7, 1970. p. 4.
  10. ^ Carlton Harrell, Debera (October 11, 2005). "Mount Rainier's Paradise Inn to undergo a two-year face-lift". Seattle Post-Intelligencer. Retrieved 2007-05-22.
  11. ^ Renée Casavant, Vanessa (September 8, 2005). "Paradise Inn to close for two years". The Seattle Times. Retrieved 2007-05-22.
  12. ^ a b "Mount Rainier National Park - Frequently Asked Questions (U.S. National Park Service)". National Park Service. January 19, 2007 [August 4, 2005]. Retrieved 2007-05-22.
  13. ^ "Annual Snowfall at Paradise 1920 to 2002" (PDF). National Park Service. January 12, 2007. Retrieved 2007-05-22.
  14. ^ "NOAA Online Weather Data". National Weather Service. Retrieved on September 6, 2022
  15. ^ "U.S. Climate Normals Quick Access (1991-2020)". National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.
  16. ^ "U.S. Climate Normals Quick Access (1981-2010)". National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

Bibliography[edit]

  • Wilfred Schmoe, Floyd (July 1999) [1959]. A Year in Paradise: A Personal Experience of Living on Mount Rainier in the Early 1900s (2nd ed.). Mountaineers Books. ISBN 0-89886-653-7.

External links[edit]