1. Mt Rainier is a beautiful place, has tons to offer, and can be entered on all sides. With that being said pick a side (the whole mountain is beautiful) and explore the area.
2. Define your goals- are you trying to summit? are you trying to get to a specific vantage point for a cool shot? Are you just adventuring for fun? Whatever your goal is make sure to have a backup plan and keep an open mind- there could be a closer, avalanches, rain, cloud cover, etc. There’s 60 named routes- do your research and find one that fits your experience level.The Ingraham Glacier and Liberty Ridge routes are the most dangerous.
3. Be prepared & know the best season to climb. Be prepared for the cold & the sun-regulating your body temperature is a key component when hiking/mountaineering. Packing things like: big down jackets, warm hat, gloves, glacier/sunglasses, and sunscreen are crucial- don’t forget you’ll burn quicker at higher altitudes and
with the reflection from the snow. The prime time to climb is from late May to mid September, but there’s things to do in the National park year around.
4. Pace yourself. This is especially important if trying to summit, getting to the top is only half the distance, you still need to climb down.
5. Hot spots, here’s a couple of top places to see: The Skyline Trail, Grove of the Patriarchs, Narada Falls, Paradise Valley, Mt. Fremont Lookout Trail, Tipsoo Lake Loop. Remember there’s a ton to do other than trying to summit (hiking, waterfalls, tours, viewpoints, etc.)