Welcome to Nisqually Entrance
Hwy 706 enters the park about 1½ hours' drive southeast of Seattle, just past Ashford and adjacent to the Nisqually River. After the entry tollbooth, a well-paved road continues east, offering the first good views of Mt Rainier – weather permitting – a few miles further on at Kautz Creek.
At the 7-mile mark you'll pass Longmire, the park's first orientation point, replete with lodging, food and hiking trailheads. From here the road climbs steeply for 12 miles, passing numerous hairpin turns and viewpoints until it emerges at the elevated alpine meadows of Paradise, where you'll find the area's biggest and best information center–museum.