Bicycling

Two bicyclists stop along a gravel path to look up at tall trees in a dense forest.
Bicycling through temperate rain forest along the Carbon River Trail (former road).

NPS Photo

At Mount Rainier, bicyclists can enjoy bicycling that is both challenging and scenic. Bicycles are allowed on park roads but they are not permitted on any hiking trails and the park does not have any designated bike trails.

September and early October are generally excellent times for bicyclists to visit Mount Rainier. During these months, there are usually fewer vehicles on the roads and fall colors enhance the scenery. However, many facilities and services are reduced or discontinued after Labor Day due to the probability of snowfall.

Be aware that the park may temporarily close any road to bicycle use. Signs will mark closed roads and bicyclists can check current road status when planning a trip. Availability of bicycling equipment in or near the park is very limited and bicyclists should be prepared to make repairs on their own. For your safety, wear a helmet.

Safety & Regulations
Riding the Roads
Using E-bikes
Mount Rainier Experience: Biking Westside Road (video)

 

Bicycling Safety & Regulations

Park roads are steep, narrow, winding and have unpaved shoulders. There are several significant elevation gains and losses. Bicyclists are advised to maintain safe speeds on downhill sections. While in the park, bicyclists are required to ride single file. Bicyclists may ride two abreast only on Westside Road and Carbon River Trail (former road), where vehicles are not allowed. However, please be aware of hikers also using those routes and yield to hikers.

Most of the park does NOT have cell coverage.

Please review additional bicycling safety guidelines and regulations for Mount Rainier National Park.

 

Riding the Roads

Nisqually Entrance - Paradise
From the Nisqually Entrance, in the southwest corner of the park, it is 19 miles one-way with an elevation gain of 3,400 feet to Paradise. Note that this road can have heavy summer traffic, including RVs. Bicyclists must ride single file.

NE Entrance - Sunrise
From the northeast park boundary on SR410, it is 20 miles with an elevation gain of 3,650 feet to Sunrise. Note that this road can have heavy summer traffic, including RVs. Bicyclists must ride single file.

Carbon River Trail (former road)**
NOTE: Due to a large number of fallen trees, the Carbon River Trail (former road) is temporarily impassible for bicyclists after the first 4 miles and challenging for hikers. Thanks for your patience while crews work to clear the road. (updated 4/7/21)
The Carbon River Trail, in the northwest corner of the park, is approximately five miles long with an elevation gain of approximately 860 feet. Ride through a temperate rain forest alongside the Carbon River to Ipsut Creek Campground. The former road is not paved, but is mostly gravel with some rougher patches where the road has been washed out by the river. Due to the damaging November 2006 flood, bicyclists share the route with hikers, but the road is closed to motor vehicle traffic. The road is subject to flooding so it could close at any time. Check current road conditions when planning your trip. **Only E-bikes possessing a motor of less than 750 watts (1 h.p) on which the motor only assists with pedal propulsion are permitted.

Mowich Lake Road
The Mowich Lake Road is also in the northwest corner of the park at the end of Highway 165. Starting from the Paul Peak trailhead near the park border, this five-mile dirt road leads to a beautiful subalpine lake with an elevation gain of approximately 1,400 feet. Please note that this dirt road often has rough conditions with large potholes and is popular with 4-wheel drive vehicles.

Westside Road**
The Westside Road is one mile from the Nisqually Entrance, in the southwest corner of the park. The first three miles of the road are open to motor vehicles as well as bicycles. There is a small parking area at Dry Creek at the end of this three-mile section and many mountain bikers choose to leave their cars at this point. From Dry Creek, the road climbs to Round Pass, descends into the South Puyallup River Valley, then climbs to Klapatche Point, where the road terminates. From Dry Creek to Klapatche Pass, the road is 9.25 miles long with an elevation change of approximately 2,100 feet. Please note that due to danger from rock fall, vehicles must park south of the barricade at Dry Creek. Hikers and bicyclists should travel through the area with caution and avoid lingering in the hazard zone. **Only E-bikes possessing a motor of less than 750 watts (1 h.p) on which the motor only assists with pedal propulsion are permitted.

 

Using E-bikes at Mount Rainier National Park

E-bikes are now allowed everywhere traditional bicycles are allowed in Mount Rainier National Park. This includes all park roads currently open to motor vehicles. E-bikes possessing a motor of less than 750 watts (1 h.p) on which the motor only assists with pedal propulsion are permitted on roads and trails that are currently open only to bicycles, including the Westside Road to Klapache Point and the Carbon River Road from the Carbon River Entrance to Ipsut Creek Campground.


E-bikes in excess of 750 watts (1 h.p.) are considered motor vehicles under this policy and are only permitted on park roads open to vehicles. Similar to traditional bicycles, e-bikes are not allowed in designated wilderness or areas managed as wilderness. Public land managers retain the right to limit, restrict, or impose conditions of bicycle use and e-bike use in the future in order to ensure visitor safety and resource protection.

Safety information and Frequently Asked Questions can be found on the Electric Bicycles in National Parks website. Learn more about laws and policies at Mount Rainier National Park.

 
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Duration:
4 minutes, 42 seconds

There are many ways to experience Mount Rainier National Park. Most visitors explore the park in vehicles or on foot, but why not by bike? Most of Westside Road is closed to vehicles, but is open to bicycling and hiking. Ride through old-growth forest, visit a historic ranger cabin and stonework bridges, and pause to remember the long history of the mountain.

Last updated: April 7, 2021

Contact the Park

Mailing Address:

55210 238th Avenue East
Ashford, WA 98304

Phone:

(360) 569-2211

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