If you plan to visit Mount Rainier National Park this year, there are changes to be aware of. According to the National Park Service, visitors will need reservations this summer, and here’s what you need to know.

During the summer of 2024, visitors will need a Mount Rainer National Park reservation to enter the park through the Nisqually, Stevens Canyon and Sunrise/White River entrance stations during peak hours.

“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 Superintendent Greg Dudgeon.

“We are testing a system that will spread visitation out throughout the day and season to reduce crowding.”

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When are Mount Rainer National Park reservations needed

According to the NPS, Park visitors will now need a reservation between 7 a.m. and 3 p.m:

  • Enter the Paradise Corridor from either the Nisqually Entrance via State Route 706 or Stevens Canyon Entrance via State Route 123 from May 24 through Sept. 2.
  • Enter the Sunrise Corridor at the White River Entrance via State Route 410 from July 3 through Sept. 2.
Image via National Park Services

How to make reservations for Mount Rainier National Park

Reservations can be made using Recreation.gov or by calling 877-444-6777.

Starting on February 21, you can make reservations for Paradise Corridor for dates through July.

Then starting on April 1st, you can make reservations for the Sunrise Corridor.

The NPS adds that “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.”

Cost & timed entry

Reservations made are for one personal vehicle each, and costs $2. Each reservation will be available for a two-hour entry window, “for instance, visitors with a 9 a.m. reservation could enter the park between 9 a.m. and 11 a.m. There is no required departure time.”

If you plan to get to the park before 7 a.m or after 3 p.m., no reservations are required.

“The park has grown in popularity in recent years, with visitation growing from just over 1.1 million in 2013 to about 1.6 million in 2022. Most of those visits occur between July and September and are concentrated in a small number of destinations, including Paradise,” says the National Park Service.

“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.”

Be sure to plan ahead this year!