Dependent on which direction you are coming from, this will be your first or last park. Coming from the West, it is the first BIG park. Stay Left, do not turn right, Right will take you to Reflection Lake.
I must apologize for the intrusive selfies. Mt. Rainier, without a person in the picture, can not convey the size of the environment. With a person in the pictures gives good perspective to size. I promise someday I'll have a model who's more aesthetic, until then, put up with me.
There were too many people, I didn't have my back up memory so I did not take pictures of the entry point and or the parking lot. To help folks better park.
There is a Right turn to a Picnic area before the main parking lot, stay straight to the Lodge and or Main Parking lots.
People go in and out all the time, so wait patiently. I waited 10 minutes for my parking space.
There are many trails, but all merge. Just follow the mass, believe it or not, the mass will lead you, either to Skyline or Panorama Point, beyond that, seek the few who are well equipped with trekking poles, sun glass, hiking boots, most will have a light wind jacket on, these guys/gals will lead you to Camp Muir.
The bathroom is to your left, straight up is Camp Muir or Right to Skyline trail.
Truth be told, Mt.Rainier has sparked my interest in making more mountain hikes. I've done a few but I think Mt.Rainier has the better view for the shortest hike. For 2.5 miles hike ( 5 miles RT) I saw Mt. Adams and GOAT wildernessatPanorama Point.
When I get a free weekend, I will camp and Hike Camp Muir and Pinnacle Peak. When I saw Pinnacle I had a gut feeling I should! but didn't!
If you've ever considered hiking and not sure where to start, Paradise park is a good starter. Do avoid the crowds by not going on a Saturday, but if you enjoy the company of others and have patience, then Saturday is a good day.