Mount Rainier National Park Travel Guide
The only trail in the park that is fully accessible to those with impaired mobility is Kautz Creek Trail, a ½-mile boardwalk that leads to a splendid view of the mountain. Parts of the Trail of the Shadows at Longmire and the Grove of the Patriarchs at Ohanapecosh are also accessible. Campgrounds at Cougar Rock and Ohanapecosh, have several accessible sites. All main visitor centers, as well as National Park Inn at Longmire, are accessible.
Park Fees and Permits
The entrance fee of $15 per vehicle and $5 for those on foot, motorcycle, or bicycle is good for seven days. Annual passes are $30. Climbing permits are $44 per person per climb or glacier trek. Wilderness camping permits must be obtained for all backcountry trips, and advance reservations are highly recommended.
Mount Rainier National Park is open 24/7 year-round, but with limited access in winter. Gates at Nisqually (Longmire) are staffed year-round during the day; facilities at Paradise are open daily from late May to mid-October; and Sunrise is open daily July to early September. During off-hours you can buy passes at the gates from machines that accept credit and debit cards. Winter access to the park is limited to the Nisqually entrance, and the Jackson Memorial Visitor Center at Paradise is open on weekends and holidays in winter. The road from Longmire to Paradise is closed Tuesdays and Wednesdays during the winter; the Paradise snow-play area is open Thursday to Monday when there is sufficient snow.
Automobile Service Stations
Gas and automotive services are not available in Mount Rainier National Park. Ashford and Packwood, with several stations each, are the closest outlets.
Cell-phone reception is unreliable throughout much of the park, although access is clear at Paradise, Sunrise, and Crystal Mountain. Public telephones are at all park visitor centers, at the National Park Inn at Longmire, and at Paradise Inn at Paradise.
The National Park Inn Post Office (Longmire Visitor Complex, Hwy. 706 E., 10 miles east of Nisqually entrance, Longmire, WA, 98304. No phone.)
Paradise Inn Post Office (Near Henry M. Jackson Visitor Center, Paradise Rd. E., Ashford, WA, 98398. No phone.)
Shops and Grocers
General Store at Longmire's National Park Inn (Longmire Visitor Complex, Longmire, WA, 98397. 360/569–2411. www.mtrainierguestservices.com.)
Plaza Market (201 Center St. E., Eatonville, WA, 98328. 360/832–6151.)