Laws & Policies

The 2015 Compendium details rules and regulations specific to Mount Rainier National Park. The 2015 Compendium Executive Summary describes the changes in the 2015 Compendium from 2014.


The Code of Federal Regulations lists rules and regulations common to all National Park Service sites.

Highlighted below are certain laws and policies to take note of when visiting the park.




 

Bicycling
Bicycle only on roads, not on trails. More about bicycling in the park.

 

Drones
Launching, landing, or operating an unmanned aircraft (drone) from or on lands and waters administered by the National Park services within the boundaries of Mount Rainier National Park is prohibited (36 CFR 1.5 (a)(1) Superintendent's Compendium).

This restriction is to protect the public from hazards and preserve the park's natural, aesthetic, and scenic values. The use of unmanned aircraft devices, such as Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) or drones, has the potential to interfere with public safety by posing an in-flight hazard to other legal aircraft use int he park. The use of these devices also has the potential to disrupt wildlife by interrupting migration, nesting, mating, and hunting activities to include, but not limited to protected species such as the Northern Spotted Owl, Marbled Murrelets, and Peregrine Falcon, as well as native birds and mammals. This restriction is in accordance with NPS Management Policy 8.2 which prohibits recreational uses that conflict with the scenic, natural, and historic values the park was designated to protect, and the associated activities in which individuals seek solitude and tranquility with an expectation of privacy. 97% of Mount Rainier National Park is designated Wilderness. Launching and landing of UAS's in the park can invite violations to the Wilderness Act, which prohibits the operation of motorized vehicles or mechanized transport.

 

Firearms
As of February 22, 2010, a federal law allows people who can legally possess firearms under applicable federal, state, and local laws, to legally possess firearms in this park.

It is the responsibility of visitors to understand and comply with all applicable state, local, and federal firearms laws before entering this park. As a starting point, please visit the website for Washington State: Washington State Legislature: Firearms and Dangerous Weapons.

The new federal law has no effect on existing laws and regulations regarding the use of firearms in national parks or hunting. Hunting and other uses of firearms is not allowed in Mount Rainier National Park. Federal law also prohibits firearms in certain facilities in this park; those places are marked with signs at all public entrances.

Frequently Asked Questions: Firearms in National Parks, Washington State National Park Units contains additional information.

 

Fires in the Park
Make fires only in established fire grills. Campfires are not allowed in the backcountry. Collecting firewood is prohibited. Firewood from other states or regions can bring in invasive pests that can damage or kill native forests. Please help mitigate the spread of invasive pests by buying local firewood and burning it where you buy it.

 

Fishing and Boating
A license is not required for fishing. Some lakes and streams are closed to fishing and Ohanapecosh River is fly fishing only. More about fishing in the park.

Motorized boating is prohibited. Non-motorized boating is permitted on all lakes except Frozen, Reflection, Ghost, Shadow, and Tipsoo lakes.

 
Marijuana on Federal Lands

Mount Rainier National Park would like to provide clarification regarding the use of possession of marijuana on Federal lands. The Washington State law, which allows for limited recreational marijuana use under certain conditions, has no bearing on Federal laws which continue to identify marijuana as a Schedule I illegal drug, and prohibit its use.

Possession of marijuana or use of any amount of marijuana is still prohibited in Mount Rainier National Park, its facilities, concessions, and campgrounds, and in the surrounding National Forest Lands. Violations are punishable by a fine of not more than $5,000.00 for an individual or $10,000.00 for an organization, or imprisonment for not more than six months, or both (16 U.S.C. 551, 18 U.S.C. 3559 and 3571).
 

Pets and Service Animals
Pets must be on leashes no longer than six feet, and are only permitted in picnic areas, campgrounds, parking lots, and roads currently open to public vehicles. Pets are not allowed in buildings, on trails, in the backcountry, or on snow. During hot weather do not leave pets in vehicles.

Service animals individually trained to perform certain tasks are allowed on trails and in park facilities only if they are providing a service for a disabled person. Service dogs-in-training are not service animals under ADA.

More about pets in the park.

 

Wildlife
Do not feed the wildlife. Help Keep Wildlife Wild by storing your food in an animal-proof container, or in your car. Do not leave food, beverages, pet food, or toiletries unattended for any length of time. Clean up picnic areas after you eat.

Black bears and mountain lions are also found in Mount Rainier National Park. Report all bear and mountain lion sightings to a ranger, and know how to safely deal with wildlife encounters.

Contact the Park

Mailing Address:

55210 238th Avenue East
Ashford, WA 98304

Phone:

(360) 569-2211
Callers to this general park line can choose from a menu that includes recorded information as well as opportunities to talk to a ranger at one of the park's administration or visitor centers. Rangers are only available to answer calls during business hours.

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