Mount Rainier National Park Announces Timed Entry Reservations for Summer 2024

Mount Rainier National Park recently announced that many visitors will need a timed entry reservation to access the park in summer 2024. Learn more about our concerns with the pilot reservation system and best practices for navigating this big change.
The Mountaineers The Mountaineers
January 26, 2024
Mount Rainier National Park Announces Timed Entry Reservations for Summer 2024
The Skyline Trail in Mount Rainier National Park.

Note: The Park's timed entry FAQ webpage is the best resource with the most up to date information on how to visit Mount Rainier National Park  during summer 2024.

Last week, Mount Rainier National Park announced that many visitors will need reservations to access the park through popular entrances during peak hours this summer. From May 24 through Labor Day, most visitors entering through the Nisqually and Stevens entrances between 7am and 3pm will need to make an online or phone reservation ahead of time. Reservations will also be required at the White River entrance beginning July 3 and lasting through Labor Day. 

The Park Service’s decision to pilot a new reservation system this summer is part of a multi-year planning process to manage increasing visitation and ease congestion during peak summer months. The test period for this pilot program will last from May 24 through Labor Day of 2024. 

Our community has consistently provided feedback and served as a strong advocate for developing an equitable and sustainable visitor use management plan throughout the Park’s planning process. Most recently, we shared our concerns over the Park’s drafted visitor use management plan, published last summer. That’s why we’re disappointed that the Park Service is implementing a timed entry pilot program rather than responding to the public process by releasing a final management plan. We believe that the timed entry pilot needs significant revisions and substantially more public input to avoid unintended negative impacts on our courses and programs. 

Park leadership and staff are continuing to evaluate public comments submitted last year, and we encourage our community to give this pilot a good-faith chance. As a longstanding partner of Mount Rainier National Park, we’re well aware of the Park’s challenges managing increased visitation. We recognize that it’s no easy task to develop equitable ways to accommodate ever-increasing use while protecting the places we love for future generations. 

Impact to Our Programs

While we accept the need for a management tool during peak visitation season, we have some concerns with the pilot timed entry system and strongly believe these issues need to be addressed before the Park finalizes a long-term solution. We’ve already shared our concerns and potential solutions with the Park Service. Our biggest concerns with the 2024 timed entry system include:

  • There is no group reservation option. Every vehicle on a Mountaineers trip will need to acquire a timed entry reservation. This presents new logistical barriers for our volunteers who help people experience the park safely and responsibly.
  • While a timed entry reservation will not be required to obtain a walk-up climbing permit, only a limited number of timed-entry exceptions will be allowed each day for visitors hoping to obtain these permits during peak hours. Historically, walk-up climbing permits have provided our volunteer leaders and the general public with the flexibility to adapt to adverse conditions elsewhere. 
  • Timed entry will impact equitable access to the Park by creating barriers for people who don’t have easy access to technology, don’t speak fluent English, or are new to visiting public lands. These barriers disproportionately affect people from low income and rural communities. 

Navigating Timed Entry at Mount Rainier

With summer 2024 right around the corner, we want to make sure our community has the tools to navigate the new timed entry system. Here are some best practices and essential information to help you continue to recreate responsibly in the park during peak season. We also recommend reviewing the Park’s timed entry FAQ page.

Reservation Requirements

You’ll need a reservation to enter the Nisqually and Stevens Canyon entrances from May 24 through Sep 2, and to enter the Sunrise/White River Entrance from July 3 through Sep 2. Reservations are required from 7am through 3pm. Each reservation provides a two-hour entry window, and there is no required departure time. Entry before 7am or after 3pm does not require a reservation. 

Timed entry reservations can be made online through or by calling the reservation line at 877-444-6777. Paradise Corridor reservations will be available starting Feb 21, 2024, and you can reserve to enter through the Sunrise Corridor beginning April 1, 2024.

The Park plans to offer a limited number of Day Before timed entry reservations this summer. Day Before reservations go on sale at 7 pm PT the night before your intended arrival.

Other Permits

If you already have a wilderness camping permit, climbing permit, or special use permit, you do not need a timed entry reservation. The Park will continue to provide walk-up wilderness and climbing permits on a first come, first served basis. A limited number of timed-entry exceptions will be allowed each day for visitors hoping to obtain walk-up permits during peak hours. However, the best approach is to enter the park before 7 am and wait for the Wilderness Information Center (WIC) to open at 7:30 am or enter after 3 pm.

For Mountaineers Leaders

There is currently no system to accommodate a party with multiple vehicles, and individuals may only secure one reservation per day. If you plan to enter the park during the timed entry window, we suggest listing your trip several weeks before the advanced reservation window opens. On your trip listing, let participants know they will need to secure their own timed entry reservation or coordinate with someone else on the trip to carpool. As a reminder, per The Mountaineers carpooling policy, leaders may provide tools to facilitate carpooling, but leaders may not assign drivers and riders. 

DC Route.pngA Mountaineers rope-team ascends the DC route up Mount Rainier. Under the new pilot timed entry system, mountaineers would need a reservation to enter the park to obtain walk-up climbing permits. Photo by Ida Vincent.

The Future of Timed Entry 

The good news is that the future of managing visitation in Mount Rainier is far from set in stone. As the Park Service continues to create a long-term management plan for the Nisqually to Paradise Corridor, The Mountaineers will advocate for equitable management actions that are informed by public input and pose the least disruption to our courses and programs. Earlier this week, we contacted Greg Dugdeon, Superintendent of Mount Rainier National Park, and Kevin Skerl, Deputy Superintendent of Mount Rainier National Park, to share our concerns and set up a meeting to discuss next steps. We’ll keep you updated on what we hear from the Park moving forward. 

Submit Your Feedback

Generations of Mountaineers have served as passionate advocates and stewards of Mount Rainier National Park. It’s critical that our community continues to be a leading voice for sustainable and equitable management of the Park’s resources. There are three great ways to make your voice heard and minimize the impact of the timed entry pilot this summer. One: reach out directly to park leadership with your feedback on the pilot program. They welcome comments and want to hear from the public. Two: help us amplify this change by sharing with your networks and communities. We don’t want people to be turned away from the Park this summer because they were unaware of the new reservation system. And three: please share your concerns with us  - we’ll use your feedback to inform future engagement with the Park. 

We recognize that the timed entry system is nuanced and will pose varying challenges depending on the location and the start time of your trip. For more information, visit Mount Rainier National Park’s timed entry FAQ.

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