Mt. Rainier Reservation

Planning a trip to Mt. Rainier National Park? Starting soon, visitors will need a Mt. Rainier Reservation to enter the park. This new requirement aims to manage the increasing number of visitors and preserve the park’s natural beauty. Here’s everything you need to know about the new reservation system, along with some fantastic alternative activities and local recommendations if you can’t secure a spot.

New Mt. Rainier Reservation Requirements for Mt. Rainier National Park

To visit Mt. Rainier National Park, you’ll need to secure a Mt. Rainier Reservation.

Key Details:

  • Primary Booking Window: Timed Entry Reservations will be available in block releases 90 days in advance at 8 AM Pacific Time (PT).
  • Secondary Booking Window: Timed entry reservations will also be available at 7 PM PT the day before the arrival date.
  • How to Reserve: Reservations can be made at Recreation.gov
  • Cost: $2.00 for the Mt. Rainier reservation plus the cost of entry to Mt. Rainier National Park.

Missed a Reservation? Explore These Alternatives

If you’re unable to get a reservation for Mt. Rainier, don’t worry! There are plenty of other exciting activities and beautiful places to explore nearby.

Sunrise or Sunset Hike

Reservations are not required before 7:00 am and after 3:00 pm. Book a cabin at Mt. Rainier National Park Cabins so you are rested before your early morning hike!

Hiking Recommendations

Gifford Pinchot National Forest

  • Description: This vast forest offers a diverse range of trails, from easy walks to challenging hikes.
  • Top Trails: High Rock Lookout or Big Creek.

Nisqually State Park

  • Description: A great option for those looking for a mix of forest and river landscapes.
  • Top Trails: The Nisqually River Loop offers stunning views and is perfect for all skill levels.

Mashell River Falls via Bud Blancher Trailhead

  • Description: A hidden gem, this trail leads to the picturesque Mashell River Falls.
  • Hiking Tips: The trail is moderately difficult, so bring proper footwear and plenty of water.

Local Food and Drink Spots

After a day of exploring, you’ll need to refuel. Here are some top local dining spots:

Copper Creek Restaurant

  • Highlights: Famous for their homemade blackberry pie and hearty comfort food.
  • Atmosphere: Cozy, rustic setting that captures the spirit of the Pacific Northwest.

Basecamp Bar and Grill

  • Highlights: A great selection of local beers and classic American fare.
  • Atmosphere: Relaxed vibe, perfect for unwinding after a day of hiking.

Unique Local Attractions

Ashford Creek Pottery

  • Description: Discover beautiful, handcrafted pottery made by local artists.
  • What to Expect: A variety of unique pieces that make for great souvenirs or gifts.

Recycled Spirits of Iron Sculpture Park

  • Description: An outdoor gallery featuring stunning sculptures made from recycled materials.
  • What to Expect: Wander through a creative landscape of art and nature combined.

Relax and Unwind

Ashford County Park

  • Description: A perfect spot for a leisurely walk or picnic.
  • Highlights: Well-maintained walking trails, picnic areas, and beautiful natural scenery.

Surrounding Walking Trails

  • Description: Explore the various walking trails around Ashford for a peaceful retreat.
  • Highlights: Trails range from easy strolls to more challenging hikes, offering something for everyone.

Final Tips

  • Plan Ahead: Make sure to check the weather and trail conditions before heading out.
  • Stay Informed: Follow local guidelines and updates regarding reservations and park access.
  • Be Prepared: Always bring essentials like water, snacks, a map, and proper footwear.

Visiting Mt. Rainier and its surrounding areas can be a rewarding experience, whether you secure a reservation for the park or opt for one of the many excellent alternatives. Happy exploring!