Mount Rainier National Park to move to cashless fee collection starting May 26, News Release 3/8/23
Why is the park changing to cashless operations?
Reducing cash collected in fee operations allows a park unit to be a better steward of our visitors’ dollars. It allows Mount Rainier National Park to:
- Reduce the amount of time park staff spend managing cash (i.e. reduce our administrative burden)
- Improve accountability, reduces the chance of errors, and allows the park to maximize funding available for visitor services and critical projects
- Reduce transaction times
- Cashless fee collection helps us stay safe, secure, and effective and allows our rangers to spend more time with visitors.
When does the park plan to start cashless operations?
We will phase in cashless operations until Friday, May 26, 2023, when will have gone fully cashless.
What entrance stations will go cashless?
All park entrance stations will go cashless by Friday, May 26, 2023. This includes the Nisqually Entrance (near Ashford, WA), the Stevens Canyon Entrance (near Packwood, WA), the White River Entrance (nearest to Greenwater, WA), and the Carbon River Entrance (nearest to Carbonado, WA).
What if I only have cash?
The park is working with external partners who are interested in selling park passes for cash and credit cards. Visitors who prefer to use cash can purchase a $30 single-vehicle entrance pass, good for 7 days, at the following locations prior to entering the park.
Locations accepting cash en route to the Nisqually Entrance, in the southwest corner of the park:
Ashford Creek Pottery
Ashford, WA 98404
Ashford Valley Grocery
Ashford, WA 98404
Ashford General Store
Ashford, WA 98404
Ashford, WA 98404
360-569-2142 ext. 103
Locations accepting cash en route to the SR123/South Entrance, in the southeast corner of the park:
Packwood, WA 98361
Locations accepting cash en route to the Carbon River/Mowich Lake Entrance, in the northwest corner of the park:
529 Church Street
Wilkeson, WA 98396
Can I use contactless payments (e.g., Apple Pay or my pre-paid Wallet phone app)?
Yes, you can use Apple Pay and other contactless payments systems at entrance stations.
Can I use a personal check or cashier’s check?
No. Only credit, debit, and other forms of electronic payment will be accepted at entrance stations and campgrounds.
Can I purchase a pass before I get to the park?
Yes. Visitors can go to recreation.gov to purchase a Mount Rainier National Park Annual Pass (valid for one year), or a Mount Rainier National Park Private Vehicle Pass, a Mount Rainier National Park Motorcycle Pass, or Mount Rainier National Park Individual Pass – all valid for 7 days.
Can I show a digital copy of my pre-paid entrance pass at park entrance stations?
Can I still use cash inside Mount Rainier National Park?
Yes, hotels, gift shops, bookstores, and restaurants will accept cash or cards.
What advantages does this have to the park visitor?
Uniform cashless policies should decrease wait times and reduce errors around making change. Going cashless will create opportunities to purchase park passes at businesses in gateway communities, which can help visitors skip much of the line.
What are entrances fees used for?
Entrance fees are an important source of revenue used to improve the visitor experience in national parks, including road and facility repairs and maintenance, trail improvements, accessibility improvements, visitor and resource protection services, and more.
How much does it cost to enter Mount Rainier National Park?
The cost for a one-to-seven day vehicle entry is $30. An annual pass, good for one year from the month of purchase, costs $55. More information on passes and fees can be found on the park’s website.
How are commercial tours affected?
Commercial tour operators should pay for fees with a credit card.
How will this affect fees at Paul Peak, near the entrance to Mowich Lake?
Paul Peak fees are cashless. Visitors should plan to use their card info for payment or pre-purchase a pass of their choice at recreation.gov.
Can visitors pay cash at Ohanapecosh Campground?
No. Sites are reservable in advance at recreation.gov. Staff at the visitor center can accept cards only for first-come, first-served sites.
Can visitors pay cash at Cougar Rock Campground?
No. Sites are reservable in advance at recreation.gov. Staff at the ranger station can accept cards only for first-come, first-served sites.
Can visitors pay cash for a site at White River Campground?
No. White River Campground contains only first-come, first-served sites. Visitors can use their card information to pay onsite, use the Scan and Pay function on recreation.gov, or can call recreation.gov when a site has been selected and pay over the phone once they have returned to areas with cell coverage as the White River Campground has no connectivity.
How can visitors pay for a backcountry site? How can I pay for a wilderness reservation? How can I pay for a walk-up site?
Visitors can pay for backcountry sites on recreation.gov. You cannot pay with cash for walk-up reservations.
Can I still use cash in the park to pay for food?
Yes. You will be able to use cash at all park concession-run business such as gift shops, hotels, and bookstores.
Can I still use cash to pay for items at the bookstores/gift shops?
Yes. This cashless transition includes only park entrance fees, campground fees, and backcountry camping fees.
How can I provide comments about this change?
You may contact us on our website. The superintendent’s office receives all submitted comments.