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Everything You Need to Know about the New Timed Entry Reservation System at Mount Rainier National Park

Written by Mark Dahl |  April 4 2024

If you’re planning a trip to Mount Rainier National Park this summer, you might be surprised to learn about the new reservation system being implemented by the National Park Service (NPS). Don’t worry, though – even though you’ll need to do a bit more planning, this article covers all the details you need to know to make your visit a success!

So, why did the National Park Service introduce this new system? Mount Rainier has been getting more and more popular over the years, with visitor numbers jumping from around 1.1 million in 2013 to a whopping 1.6 million in 2022. That’s a lot of people trying to enjoy the park’s stunning scenery! Most of these visits happen between July and September, and everyone tends to flock to the same few spots, causing some serious crowding issues.

To help make your visit more enjoyable and reduce the impact on the environment, the NPS is testing out a pilot reservation system for the Paradise and Sunrise Corridors during peak hours from May 24 to September 2, 2024. If you want to enter the park through the Nisqually, Stevens Canyon, or Sunrise/White River entrance stations between 7 a.m. and 3 p.m., you’ll need to make a reservation.

Don’t stress, though – making a reservation is easy! Just head over to or call 877-444-6777 between the hours of 7 a.m. and 9 p.m. Pacific Time. Each reservation costs $2 and covers one vehicle. You’ll get a two-hour window to enter the park, so you have to plan your arrival accordingly. If you’ve already got lodging or camping reservations within the park, or if you have a special permit, you might not need an additional timed-entry reservation.

Now, when should you make your reservation? If you’re visiting between May and July, reservations are already open on If you’re planning a trip in August or early September, set a reminder for May 1, when reservations for those dates will become available. Some of the weekend morning reservations are already nearly sold out (as of this post date), but if you’re a last-minute kind of person, don’t despair – a limited number of reservations will be released each day at 7 p.m. for the following day.

If you’d rather not deal with this system (or any other logistics planning), Tours Northwest is here to help.  Our Mt. Rainier from Seattle tours not only take care of the transportation so you can just relax and soak in the gorgeous scenery, but with our expert guides, you’ll explore and learn about the massive glaciers,  thundering waterfalls, old-growth forests and subalpine meadows that surround this 14,411 foot volcano.  Through fluctuating weather conditions and traffic patterns, our guides are trained to determine the best itinerary for your group on any given day. Our goal is to showcase as much of the park as possible during your time with us, and you will almost certainly be able to experience more of the park with us than you ever could when planning a visit on your own.

The NPS is implementing this pilot reservation system to help manage the growing number of visitors and ensure that everyone can have a fantastic experience at Mount Rainier National Park. So, go ahead and start planning your summer adventure – just remember to snag your reservation early and get ready to enjoy all the breathtaking beauty this park has to offer!