Plan your Visit to
Mount Rainier National Park
A True National Treasure
Mount Rainier National Park was one of the earliest national parks within the national park registry. It was signed as the nation’s fifth national park in 1899 by President William McKinley and since, it has become one of the most visited and beloved parks in America. Here are a few reasons why Mount Rainier National Park is tops in the eyes of visitors.
When to go
May – June – July – August – September – October
Winter Sports – Wild flowers – Hiking – Rafting – Kayaking – Boating – Stunning Vistas – History – Wildlife – Climbing – Scenic Drives – Day Trip – Bird-Watching – Horseback Riding – Biking
The park is named for the towering mountain known as Mount Rainier. The mountain towers above visitors at a staggering 14,410 feet above sea level. Countless people year after year attempt to climb to the peak of the mountain and many make their goal, however more rescue missions are launched to save hikers that do not return at the expected time and those that contact the rangers via satellite phones. Conditions on the mountain can change quickly from stable to threatening because, although it has not erupted in some time, Mount Rainier is still considered an active volcano. Any attempt to climb the mountain should be well planned and trained for before embarking. You will want to also have the proper permit for any climb above 10,000 feet. The climbing pass is $46 for anyone over the age of 25 and only $32 for those under 25. It allows for you to climb the mountains and glaciers found within Rainier National Park for a full year after purchase.
Where else on earth can you tell people that you are going to paradise and that actually be the name of the area you are visiting. Within Rainier National Park there is such an area. It is called paradise for the wildflower meadows that are found there during the spring and summer seasons. During the winter months, you may not be able to see the vivid colors of the flowers however the overabundance of snow fall will give you the opportunity for snowshoeing, snow tubing, and even cross country skiing.
Throughout Rainier National Park there are plenty of areas to hike trails of varying experience levels, but not all parks allow for vehicle transportation within the park. Rainier National Park is a park that wants all guests to enjoy the beautiful nature of the park. Sunrise is an area of the park that allows visitors to drive up to 6,400 feet above sea levels to view the area. From this vantage point, visitors get a 360-degree view of the park and all within it. The drive up to Sunrise is just as picturesque as the view from the area with wildflower fields and wildlife of all type within view.
In such a wet environment, there are times where you may not be able to get the pictures you want due to foggy or rainy conditions. That is the time where a trip to Ohanapecosh is warranted. This part of the park is at the southeast corner Rainier National Park and is drier than any other area within its borders. It is also home to some of the oldest Douglas Fir Trees within the park and will gives visitors the chance to see the true forest nature of the park itself.
Things to Know
The fees to enter the park have increased in recent years. The increase was to ensure that the park could be maintained properly and therefore the fees today are $25 for a passenger vehicle, $20 for a motorcycle, and $10 for non-motorized transportation and anyone traveling on foot. The fees allow you access to the park for 7 days from the time of purchased, but if you intend to be a frequent visitor to Rainier National Park, a $50 annual pass is the best option. Camping within the park is permitted in campground areas and will cost $20 per night per campsite. Permits for wilderness camping are free and available on a first come first serve basis within the visitor’s center
If you intend to visit Rainier National Park respect the park for all that it is. Rangers work diligently to ensure the park remain a family friendly place where both humans and animals live comfortably together. Feeding of animals is strictly prohibited and visitors are told to leave nothing behind during both hiking adventures as well as wilderness excursions into the park’s backcountry.
Safety is always of concern for both visitors and rangers alike. If you are unsure of your personal skill at any point while in the park, avoid the activity. It is better to allow your pride to take a hit than to overestimate your skills and get into a rescue situation. Rainier National Park is a beautiful and vast landscape that deserves your visit, but also your respect.