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Mount Rainier reservation changes

Photo by Theo Crazzolara / Creative Commons

Mt. Rainier: New summer entry reservation system

Reservations needed for arrivals between 7 a.m. and 3 p.m.

Planning a family trip to Mount Rainier National Park this summer? All visitors will need a reservation to enter the park through the Nisqually, Stevens Canyon and Sunrise/White River entrance stations during peak hours in Summer 2024.

The park has become increasingly popular in recent years. Just over 1.1 million visited Mount Rainier in 2013 compared to 1.6 million in 2022. Most of those visits occured between July and September and were concentrated in a few destinations, including Paradise. During the park’s 2023 planning process, visitors voiced concerns about congestion at popular entry points.

“In recent years, it’s been too common for visitors to sit in idling cars for a couple of hours at the entrance stations and then make laps through the parking lots hoping for an empty parking space,” said Greg Dudgeon, Superintendent of Mount Rainier National Park. “We are testing a system that will spread visitation out throughout the day and season to reduce crowding.”

Peak hours and summer entrance dates

In 2024, reservations are required for the peak visiting hours — between 7 a.m. and 3 p.m. daily.

From May 24 through September, visitors can enter the park through either the Nisqually Entrance via State Route 706 or Stevens Canyon Entrance via State Route 123. White River Entrance via State Route 410 will be open July 3 through Sept. 2.

How to make reservations

  • Beginning Feb. 21, you can make a reservation to enter the park Nisqually and Steven’s Canyon online at Recreation.gov or by calling 877-444-6777.
  • Online reservations for the White River entrance open on April 1. 
  • Reservations for dates in August through Labor Day will open on May 1. 
  • In addition to the reservations available up to three months ahead, a block of reservations will be released each day through the summer at 7 p.m. for use the following day.

What reservations cost and cover

Reservations cover a two-hour entry window, cost $2, and cover one vehicle. There is no required departure time.


When are reservations not needed?

No reservations are required for entry before 7 a.m. or after 3 p.m. during park open days. Visitors with in-park reservations for lodging or camping do not require additional timed entry reservations and may enter the park any time after 1 p.m. the first day of their reservation. Other permit holders may enter the park without reservations as outlined in their wilderness permit, special use permit, research permit, or commercial use authorization.

This pilot reservation system is a key part of evaluating what type of system will provide a more enjoyable experience for visitors. The system isn’t expected to reduce overall visitation but rather spread it out throughout the day and season to reduce crowding.

Learn more and reserve your spot

To learn more about the pilot reservation system and park fees, go to the park service website. For questions about the park’s timed entry reservation system, email MORA_Timed_Entry@nps.gov or call 360-569-6249. 

To make reservations, go online to Recreation.gov  between the hours of 7 a.m. and 9 p.m. Pacific Time.

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