Everything you need to know about Mount Rainier's NEW timed entry reservation program for 2024
Hey there, fellow adventurers! If you're planning a trip to the stunning Mt. Rainier National Park this year, you'll want to get the lowdown on the new timed entry reservation system that's been introduced for the 2024 peak season.
While there are many potential pros and cons of this new system (which I discuss in the video below), the aim of this blog post is just to get you the information you need to plan your trip.
As always, if you plan on visiting the outdoors any time this year, please, PLEASE practice Leave No Trace. I cannot emphasize this enough.
So with that, let's dive into the details!
When do you need a reservation to enter Mt. Rainier National Park?
First things first, let's talk about when you need to snag a reservation. Timed entry reservations are a must if you're planning to visit the most popular areas of the park during specific times:
Paradise: From May 24th to September 2nd, between 7 a.m. and 3 pm.
Sunrise: From July 3rd to September 2nd, also between 7 a.m. and 3 pm.
The good news? No reservations are needed outside of these dates and times. Plus, this system is just a test for 2024, so stay tuned for updates on how it'll work in 2025 and beyond. Oh, and if you're pedaling your way around, bikes are exempt from this system. Go, cyclists!
How to get a timed entry reservation at Mt. Rainier National Park
So, you're visiting during the prime hours, and you need a reservation. Here's the scoop:
Reservations are available 90 days in advance. Mark your calendar!
If you want to plan a last-minute trip, a small allotment of reservations open up at 7 p.m. the night before.
You CANNOT snag a reservation at the gate, so plan ahead.
Keep in mind, there are no cancellations, transfers, or refunds, so choose your dates wisely.
Other information to know about Mt. Rainier's timed entry reservation system
Here are some more nitty-gritty details to keep in mind:
Entry reservations are for a 2-hour time slot, with four options throughout the day.
Reservations are per car, not per person.
If you're staying at either of the inns or camping at Cougar Rock Campground, no reservation is needed, but you do have to arrive after 1 p.m. on the first day of your reservation.
Remember, you'll still need to purchase a park entrance fee per vehicle, no matter when you enter.
If you plan to explore multiple areas of the park in one day, you'll need separate entry reservations for each entrance. So, keep that in mind when planning your adventure.
Don't forget to print or screenshot your reservation confirmation because there's no cell service once you're in the park.
How to explore Tahoma without a reservation
If you prefer to avoid the reservation hassle or simply want to explore the park at your own pace, there are some easy ways to do so:
Visit Paradise before May 24th or after September 2nd.
Head to Sunrise before July 3rd or after September 2nd.
Arrive before 7 a.m. or after 3 p.m.
Consider exploring other fantastic areas around Mt. Rainier like Tipsoo Lake, Carbon River, Ohanapecosh, Mowich, High Rock, and more.
Looking for more information or ready to book your reservation? Check out the official Mt. Rainier National Park website.
In a nutshell, this new Mt. Rainier timed entry reservation system is designed to help preserve the beauty of the National Park while ensuring that everyone can enjoy it for years and years to come. So, get those calendars out, plan your visit, and get ready for an unforgettable adventure in this Pacific Northwest gem. Happy exploring!
If you want to learn more about the pros and cons of this system, I'm publishing a new blog post on this soon, so stay tuned. But you can watch the full video above for an in-depth analysis!