Avoid Summer Congestion

Cars crowd a parking lot.
Parking lots at Sunrise (pictured) and Paradise can fill up quickly on busy summer days.

NPS Photo

The park is experiencing extremely high visitation that is creating long wait times at the Nisqually and White River entrances, and heavy road and parking lot congestion.

On weekends, the Paradise and Sunrise parking lots are filled by late morning. At Paradise, overflow parking is available at the Paradise Picnic Area and along the Paradise Valley Road, but may require a long uphill walk to access the visitor center, restrooms, and area trails. When the Sunrise parking area is filled to capacity vehicles are held at the White River Entrance and then slowly metered in as other vehicles depart.

A full parking lot beneath forested slopes and rocky peaks.
Paradise parking area filled to capacity by 1:00 pm, July 11, 2017.

NPS Photo

Use these tips to have an enjoyable visit and avoid the worst of the congestion:

  • Visiting on weekdays, and arriving in early morning or late afternoon, can help avoid crowds, long entrance station lines and delays, and difficulty finding a place to park.
  • Have an alternate plan and destination in mind if long lines and waits are encountered entering the park. Experience the sights and activities of gateway communities during peak hours and weekends. USFS lands and the Crystal Mountain Resort provide nearby destination alternatives.
  • Using an annual park or interagency pass, or having the correct payment in cash, can minimize time spent at the entrance station and keep the line moving. Credit card transactions take more time to process and contribute to delays.
  • Check road status for closures or other delays that may affect your travel plans.

Last updated: May 7, 2018

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55210 238th Avenue East
Ashford, WA 98304


(360) 569-2211

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