Reaching the summit via any route requires a vertical elevation gain of more than 9,000 feet and traveling over ten miles in distance. Climbers must be in excellent physical condition and well prepared. Technical glacier-travel rope skills are also required to ascend and descend the mountain safely. Either independently or with a guide, climbing and skiing on Mount Rainier offers an unparalleled experience within the Pacific Northwest's Cascade Mountain Range.
Last Updated: October 27, 2021.
Fees, Permits, and Reservations
Two things are required to climb Mount Rainier:
About the Annual Climbing Fee:
The Annual Climbing Fee at Mount Rainier National Park helps provide for rangers to respond to search and rescue incidents, staff ranger stations and high camps to register climbers and provide up-to-date route conditions, and remove human waste from the mountain and dispose of it properly. Pay the Climbing Fee online through Pay.gov.
About the Climbing Permit:
Climbers must obtain a Climbing Permit in person at a ranger station. Climbers cannot obtain a Climbing Permit over the phone or online. A Climbing Permit is required for each party that skis or climbs on a glacier and/or ascends above 10,000 feet on Mount Rainier. While the Annual Climbing Fee only needs to be purchased once for the entire calendar year, a Climbing Permit is specific to the date range and party to which it is issued.
Reservations for Climbing Permits can be made through the Recreation.gov website for Mount Rainier National Park Wilderness and Climbing Permits. Reservations are encouraged but not required, especially for people traveling long distances to get to the park, larger climbing parties, and those trying to climb over a holiday weekend. Only during high-use months (June through September) are reservations for Climbing Permits made available. Reservations must be made at least two days in advance of the trip start.
About Solo Climbing:
To climb or ski Mount Rainier without a partner requires a Solo Climbing Permit. All soloists must apply for the permit via the
Weather and Conditions
Weather, snow, and route conditions can change rapidly, making the difference between a pleasant and rewarding experience or a tragedy. Before beginning a climb, obtain a current weather forecast. Rangers at both Camp Muir and Camp Schurman can give out updated forecasts before your summit attempt, but look for a general trend in the weather before arriving at the park.
Climbing instruction, multi-day summit climbs, multi-day climbing seminars, and private climbs are available through:
There are also 15 single-trip guide services authorized to perform only one guided trip per year. Check the list of current Commercial Use Authorizations for approved guide service companies.
Route briefs are official in-depth descriptions of climbing routes on Mount Rainier. Use the Route Briefs to familiarize yourself with these four popular routes. Produced by the climbing rangers, they contain the information needed for planning your climb, including route statistics, common pit-falls, and some of the climbing history of the route.
Annual Mountaineering Reports and Statistics
Last updated: November 22, 2021