Visitor and information centers are located in every corner of the park. These are the best places to get current information about trails, programs, permits, climbing, road status in the park, driving information to other parks, nearby tourist destinations and cities. Each of the visitor centers has unique exhibits pertaining to different aspects of the park. Check the hours of operation or see the current issue of Tahoma News for the times and dates these facilities are open. The Tahoma News also gives the times and dates for the various ranger programs and walks throughout the park.
Paradise (south central area)
- Jackson Visitor Center (360) 569-6571
Ask the rangers at the desk for information for maps, trails, ranger programs and walks. Watch the excellent 20-minute movie, The Restless Giant, which plays in the lobby theater at a quarter past and a quarter before each hour to get a good introduction to the park. The exhibit area upstairs emphasizes park history and ecology. Enjoy the mini theater with its continuously looping program. Various interactive electronic displays help visitors learn about the park's glaciers, plants and animals. The gift shop has a variety of books and maps of the park. Enjoy a snack in the cafe in the visitor center.
- Climbing Information Center (360) 569-6641
This is the place to get the latest information on climbing the mountain during the peak season (Memorial Day through Labor Day). To climb the mountain or to go onto any of the glaciers or to ascend above 10,000 feet requires a climbing pass which you can buy online or in the Climbing Information Center. This is the best place to register for a climb and to obtain alpine zone camping permits.
- Paradise Inn (360) 569-2413
The historic Paradise Inn, one of the ten great National Park Inns, is open from mid-May through early October. There is an NPS ranger on duty in the lobby six days a week during the summer. The evening ranger programs in the lobby are open to everyone. They are daily starting in late June until Labor Day. There is a good selection of Mount Rainier books and maps in the gift store in the inn. Enjoy a leisurely meal in the inn's restaurant or a latte in the deli.
Longmire (southwest area)
- Longmire Museum and Information Center (360) 569-6575
This is a quaint historical museum focusing on the Native American artifacts, geology and the natural history of the park. Maps and trail information are available at the ranger desk. Rangers can give backcountry camping and climbing permits if other facilities are closed. The small Discover Your Northwest bookstore has topographical maps of the park, hiking guides and books on various aspects of the park.
- Wilderness Information Center (360) 569-6650
Open Memorial Day through Columbus Day. This center issues backcountry camping permits and climbing passes. It is the best place to find the most current trail condition reports.
- Longmire General Store (360) 569-2400 x1140
The General Store has a good selection of books about the park, including trail, flower, animal, and climbing guidebooks. In addition, they have snack food, post cards, and gift items. When the campgrounds are open, they also sell firewood.
- Cougar Rock Campground
There are daily ranger programs in the campground amphitheater in the evenings starting the last of June through Labor Day. Prior to the evening campfire program there is a children's Junior Ranger Program.
- Ohanapecosh Visitor Center (360) 494-2229
Exhibits focus on old growth forest ecology. Ohanapecosh area maps and trail information are available at the ranger desk. Rangers can give backcountry camping and climbing permits and passes. The small Discover Your Northwest bookstore has topographical maps of the park, hiking guides and books on various aspects of the park. Inquire about ranger led programs and walks.
- Ohanapecosh Campground
Check at the visitor center, campground bulletin board or the current Tahoma News for days and times of evening ranger and Junior Ranger programs.
- White River Wilderness Information Center (360) 569-7025
This center near the White River Entrance Station issues backcountry camping permits, climbing permits and passes for the east side of the park. It is the best place for finding the most current trail condition reports.
- White River Campground
Check at the Sunrise Visitor Center or campground bulletin board for days and times of Junior Ranger and evening ranger programs in the campground amphitheater.
- Sunrise Visitor Center (360) 663-2425
Ask the rangers at the desk for area maps, information about trails, ranger led walks and programs. The exhibits are about the geology and natural history of the northeast area of the park.
- Sunrise Day Lodge
The day lodge has a snack bar and a gift shop. There are no overnight accommodations in the day lodge.
Carbon River (northwest area)
- Carbon River Ranger Station (360) 829-9639 (Call for hours).
The park's newest ranger station has area maps, the most current information on trails and backcountry camps located in the northwest corner of the park. Get camping permits, climbing permits and passes, and pay the park entrance fee here. They also have a limited number of topographical maps and guide books for sale. The hours the ranger station is open are irregular, so check current publications or call first.
The Tahoma News
The park's quarterly newspaper, Tahoma News, contains answers to many frequently asked questions. It is available at every entrance station and at all of the visitor and information centers. The paper has current information on facility hours and phone numbers, things to do in the park, safety information, ranger programs, campground information, and much more.