Permits & Reservations

 

Special Use Permits

Mount Rainier National Park, a recognizable national landmark with inspiring vistas and natural settings, is an ideal spot for a variety of special activities. Most special events and activities held within Mount Rainier National Park require a Special Use Permit. These permits are issued and approved only after National Park Service staff determine that the activity will not impair park values, resources, and visitor enjoyment.

A Special Use Permit is required for activities that provide a benefit to an individual, group, or organization, rather than the public at large and for activities that require some degree of management by the National Park Service in order to protect park resources and the public interest.

Please allow four weeks for the processing of permit applications.

Please read this legal notice regarding payment of fees by check.

For information on Special Use Permits or to email in your application, please contact the Special Use Permit Coordinator at mora_special_use@nps.gov. For Fee Waiver inquiries contact mora_fee_waiver@nps.gov. Applications accepted by email ONLY; no fax or mail-in applications.


Activities and events that require Special Use Permits include:


 

Permit for Organized Group Recreation

Any organized gathering of a group of people for recreation within the park may require a Special Use Permit. “Groups” are any organized gathering of people, including (but not limited to):

  • Clubs/meet-up groups
  • Church groups
  • Scouts
  • School groups
  • Tour groups
  • Youth groups


  • For most recreational activities, a permit is required if group size is greater than 24.
  • Location of activities may be restricted, depending on group size.
  • On trails or in Wilderness, groups must break into parties of 12 or less and maintain separation by staggering start times by at least 20 minutes, paying close attention to route selection and pace. Groups must not merge along the route or gather at any time.
  • Competitive events are not allowed in park Wilderness.
  • The permittee must obtain all necessary wilderness and/or climbing permits prior to the activity. Entrance fees will not be waived.
  • Mountaineering training (maximum 60 people) is permitted only at Paradise location and Nisqually Glacier. Only one group per day is allowed to conduct training at these locations.
  • Activity monitoring and cost-recovery charges may be required. Permit Coordinators can help determine potential costs, if any, for the activity.
  • Complete an application form and email it to mora_special_use@nps.gov.
  • Applications must be submitted at least four weeks before the requested date. Please contact the Permit Coordinator via email if expediting of your application is requested (less than four weeks advance submission).
  • Once your application is received by the Permit Coordinator, you will be given instructions on paying the non-refundable $60 application fee online.
  • Application fees must be paid before the permit will be processed/approved.
 

Permit for Filming and Photography

All commercial filming activities require a permit. “Commercial filming” involves the digital or film recording of a visual image or sound recording by a person, business, or other entity for a market audience. This includes recordings such as those used for a documentary, television or feature film, advertisement, or similar project.

Still photography (whether commercial or noncommercial) requires a permit if any of the following apply:
  • It uses props, sets, or models (or any on-camera talent).
  • The photographs may be used for the purpose of commercial advertising.
  • There is a potential for impact to park resources or disruption to normal visitor use.
  • It takes place at a location where or when members of the public are generally not allowed.
  • 97% of Mount Rainier National Park is designated Wilderness. No commercial filming is allowed in park Wilderness unless it is considered necessary and proper for providing educational information about wilderness uses, resources, or values, or is necessary for other wilderness purposes.
  • Visitor access may not be restricted from any location; short interruptions to normal visitor use patterns are only allowed if specified in the approved permit.
  • The permit does not include authority to film or photograph individuals. Model releases are the responsibility of the permittee.
  • On-camera appearances by employees must be approved by park management as a condition of the permit.
  • Coverage of breaking news does not require a permit, but is subject to restrictions and conditions to protect park resources.
  • The park cannot sign a location release supplied by the permittee
  • All costs incurred by the National Park Service for issuing the permit, scouting locations, monitoring filming, or otherwise supporting the filming or photography activities will be reimbursed by the permittee as a condition of the permit.
  • Performance bond and liability insurance requirements must be met. The required amount of insurance will be determined by the potential risk to park resources and the complexity of activities.
  • General commercial liability insurance must be issued by a United States company. “United States Government, National Park Service” must be named as “additional insured” on the insurance certificate. Certificates naming the United States Government as “certificate holder” only are not acceptable.
  • A location fee is also required as a condition of the permit, and based on the number of people associated with the permit and the length (in days) of the permit.
Filming Still Photography
1-2 people, camera & tripod only $0/day 1-2 people, camera & tripod only $0/day
1-10 people $150/day 1-10 people $50/day
11-30 people $250/day 11-30 people $150/day
31-49 people $500/day Over 30 people $250/day
Over 50 people $750/day
  • Complete an application form and email it to mora_special_use@nps.gov.
  • A minimum of 90 days is required to process the application and issue a permit. Please contact the Permit Coordinator via email if expediting of your application is requested (less than 90 days advanced submission).
  • Once your application is received by the Permit Coordinator, you will be given instructions on paying the non-refundable $100 application fee online.
  • Application fees must be paid before the permit will be processed/approved.
 

Permit for Weddings

A permit is required for all wedding ceremonies held within Mount Rainier National Park. Most ceremonies in the park are brief and simple; elaborate ceremonies do not work well in the park’s natural setting. Weather in the park is unpredictable, and at higher elevations such as Paradise and Sunrise, snow often remains on the ground well into July.

Party size determines which locations may be used for wedding ceremonies.
  • 1-12 participants: may use certain pre-determined locations, which may include select trails, picnic areas, roadside locations, and campground amphitheaters.
  • 13-24 participants: may use certain pre-determined locations, which may include picnic areas, roadside locations, and campground amphitheaters.
  • 25-60 participants: may use certain pre-determined locations, which may include roadside locations and campground amphitheaters.
  • 60 + participants: may use campground amphitheaters.
Ceremonies may not:
  • Impede the activities of other park visitors.
  • Areas may not be roped off or blocked in any way to the general public.
  • Modest decorations may be allowed (additional permissions required).
  • Additional permissions are required for professional photography/videography; please include photographer contact information in the application form.
  • The setting up of chairs, tents, or awnings is not permitted.
  • Throwing of rice, confetti, etc. is not allowed.
  • Complete an application form and email it to mora_special_use@nps.gov.
  • Applications must be submitted at least four weeks before the requested date. Please contact the Permit Coordinator via email if expediting of your application is requested (less than four weeks advance submission).
  • Once your application is received by the Permit Coordinator, you will be given instructions on paying the non-refundable $60 application fee online.
  • Application fees must be paid before the permit
 

Permit to Scatter Ashes

Human ashes may be scattered in Mount Rainier National Park with a permit.

Party size determines which locations in the park may be used for the spreading of ashes:
  • 1-12 participants may use wilderness and primitive areas as well as many roadside locations.
  • 13-24 participants may not use wilderness or primitive locations, but may use certain pre-determined locations along trails at Paradise and Sunrise; may also use locations along roads such as pullouts.
  • 25-60 participants are limited to roadside locations.
  • If group size is over 12, this activity may not take place at Paradise or Sunrise between the hours of 12:00 pm and 4:00 pm on weekends due to congestion.
  • Ceremonies may not impede the activities of other visitors. Outdoor areas will not be closed off during ceremonies and parking may not be reserved.
  • Cremetated remains must be pulverized and fully dispersed. Ashes may not be dispersed within 100 yards of any body or water or in a developed area. No container, urn, flowers, or memorial markers may be left within park boundaries.
  • Ashes may not be spread within half a mile of Tipsoo Lake or Reflection Lake. These areas are not available for Scattering of Ashes.
  • Scattering of ashes at any location above 10,000 ft will be dispersed as airborne, and not into crevasses, vents, on to snow, glacial ice, or any ground surface.
The scattering of ashes from the air also requires a permit and is to be preformed at a minimum of 2,000 ft above the ground. Ashes may not be scattered over roads, developed areas, or bodies of water.
  • Complete an application form and email it to mora_special_use@nps.gov.
  • Applications must be submitted at least four weeks before the requested date. Please contact the Permit Coordinator via email if expediting of your application is requested (less than four weeks advanced submission).
  • Once your application is received by the Permit Coordinator, you will be given instructions on paying the non-refundable $25 application fee online.
  • Application fees must be paid before the permit will be processed/approved.
 

Permit for Military Activities

Special Use Permits are required for all military uses. Determining when and where military units may conduct activities within park areas is a discretionary decision made by the park superintendent.

  • Military exercises may be allowed only if they relate to usual and normal park activities such as search and rescue, outdoor survival, and events not simulating conditions encountered in combat situations.
  • Military ceremonies are allowed in certain areas, depending on audience size and equipment needs.
  • From June through September, military activities may be restricted to Monday through Thursday depending on visitation.
  • The permittee must obtain all necessary wilderness and/or climbing permits prior to the activity. The per-person fee for a climbing pass will not be waived.
  • Location of activities may be restricted, depending on group size.
  • On trails or in Wilderness, groups must break into parties of 12 or less and maintain separation by staggering start times by at least 20 minutes, paying close attention to route selection and pace. Groups must not merge along the route or gather at any time.
  • Weapons may be carried, but all use is prohibited. Weapons are not allowed in federal buildings.
  • For most activities, civilian attire or military dress uniform is recommended.
  • A liaison officer will be designated by the military organization to be available to the superintendent throughout the exercise.
  • Complete an application form and email it to mora_special_use@nps.gov.
  • Applications must be submitted at least four weeks before the requested date. Please contact the Permit Coordinator via email if expediting of your application is requested (less than four weeks advance submission).
  • Application fees are not charged for military activities, but cost-recovery charges may be required.
    Permit Coordinators can help determine potential costs, if any, for the actual activity.
 
A trail bridge crosses a stream, the trail leading into forest, while the top of Mount Rainier can be glimpsed through a gap in the trees.
The High Lakes Trail is one of many trails near the Paradise area, and connects to the Wonderland Trail.

NPS Photo

Reservations and Other Permits


Wilderness Permit
A wilderness permit is required for all overnight camping and climbing in the wilderness of Mount Rainier National Park.

Climbing Permit
A climbing permit is required for anyone who plans to climb above 10,000 feet or onto any glaciers, and all climbers must pay a Climbing Cost Recovery Fee. If you will be camping overnight as part of your climbing trip, you will also need a Wilderness Permit.

 

Scientific Research & Collecting Permit
A research permit is required to conduct research, including social science studies, in the park.

 

Ranger-Guided Snowshoe Walks - Reservations for Groups
Organized groups can make reservations for ranger-guided snowshoe walks in the winter months at Paradise. Typically reservations are accepted beginning in November for walks that will take place January-March. Snowshoe walks are just one of a variety of winter recreational activities available at Mount Rainier.

 

Camping
Learn more about camping reservations, regulations, and fees.

Last updated: March 7, 2019

Contact the Park

Mailing Address:

55210 238th Avenue East
Ashford, WA 98304

Phone:

(360) 569-2211

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