Pets

Pets are prohibited on ALL Mount Rainier National Park trails and wilderness areas.

Why can't I have my pet on trails?

  • Mount Rainier is wild. Your pet could become prey for wildlife. Bears, mountain lions, bobcats, and birds of prey all call Mount Rainier home.

  • Pets have injured and killed park wildlife.

  • Dogs are predators and their odors, especially urine and feces, can impact wildlife. This ‘predator’ scent can linger, disrupting the native animals this park protects.

  • Pets may dig or trample fragile vegetation or sensitive archaeological sites.

  • Slippery slopes, icy snow, and unexpected cliffs can lead to extreme falls that can be fatal for your pet. Pets can easily be swept away in rivers.

  • Even if your pet follows instructions and is well behaved, others do not know your pet and may feel uneasy when encountering your pet. Some people may have allergies or other concerns. Park visitors should be able to enjoy the native wildlife in their natural environment without disruption from other visitors’ pets.

  • Pets can also be anxious in unfamiliar environments which could lead them to react unexpectedly or attempt to run away. If a pet were to get lost, the odds of locating your pet again in Mount Rainier’s wilderness are low.

 

Regulations for pet owners

  • At Mount Rainier, pets are NOT allowed on trails**, in wilderness and/or off trail areas, inside buildings, in amphitheaters, on roads closed for winter, or on snow (service animals excepted).

  • At all times, pets must be on a leash, not more than six feet (1.8 meters) in length or in a crate/cage.

  • At all times, pets must be with and under control of their owners.

  • Owners must pick-up and dispose of all fecal matter.

** The Pacific Crest Trail (PCT) on the eastern border of the park is the only exception. Dogs on a leash no longer than 6 feet are permitted on the Pacific Crest Trail. A portion of the Pacific Crest Trail is used to form the Naches Peak Loop Trail near Tipsoo Lake. Dogs are allowed on the Pacific Crest Trail portion of the loop but are NOT allowed on the non-PCT sections of the Naches Peak Loop Trail within the park.

 

Where is it okay to take your pet?

  • Parking lots

  • Campgrounds

  • On paved roads open to public vehicles, and no more than six feet from paved roads.
    Note: Carbon River Road and Westside Road are closed to vehicles and pets. In winter, it is unsafe to walk on any park road due to snowplows being in operation.

 
A dog laying on its back on a couch.
A dog enjoying the couch at home instead of being stuck in a hot vehicle.

NPS/C. Meleedy Photo

Should I bring my pet?

Ultimately, bringing your pet to the park is your choice. But in many cases, there are more risks than rewards to both your pet and to wildlife. Wildlife have been known to injure dogs. Deer, bears, and mountain lions can be protective of young or defensive of territories and may attack pets.

An additional consideration is whether you intend to wildlife watch. Typically, people without pets are more likely to see park wildlife such as deer, bears, squirrels, marmots, grouse, and even foxes.

If you do decide to bring a furry co-pilot, please be sure to follow the regulations and pick up all pet waste. Pet waste is the primary way parasites and disease can spread between pets and wildlife. For your pet’s safety, do not allow your dog to eat anything they might find in the park. Be sure to keep your pet on a leash at all times.

Pet Preparedness

  • Mount Rainier National Park does not have kennel facilities.

  • Bring a roll of dog waste bags. Federal regulations require all pet excrement to be picked up and disposed of in a trash receptacle.

  • Make sure you have extra food and water along for your pet.

  • Don’t forget a leash and collar for each pet, a water bowl, ID tags, and food, stuffed toys, and/or long-lasting chew toys to keep your pet occupied.

Below are a few pet-friendly options for enjoying the park.

 

Pet-friendly Mount Rainier National Park Activities

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    Service Animals

    How is “service animal” defined
    Service animals are defined as dogs that are individually trained to do work or perform tasks for people with disabilities. Examples of such work or tasks include guiding people who are blind, alerting people who are deaf, pulling a wheelchair, alerting and protecting a person who is having a seizure, reminding a person with mental illness to take prescribed medications, calming a person with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) during an anxiety attack, or performing other duties. Service animals are working animals, not pets. The work or task a dog has been trained to provide must be directly related to the person's disability. Dogs whose sole function is to provide comfort or emotional support do not qualify as service animals under the Americans with Disability Act (ADA).

    This definition does not affect or limit the broader definition of "assistance animal" under the Fair Housing Act or the broader definition of "service animal" under the Air Carrier Access Act.

    Some State and local laws also define service animal more broadly than the ADA does. Information about such laws can be obtained from the State attorney general's office.

    Where Service Animals Are Allowed
    Under the ADA, State and local governments, businesses, and nonprofit organizations that serve the public generally must allow service animals to accompany people with disabilities in all areas of the facility where the public is normally allowed to go.

    Service Animals Must Be Under Control
    Under the ADA, service animals must be harnessed, leashed, or tethered, unless these devices interfere with the service animal's work or the individual's disability prevents using these devices. In that case, the individual must maintain control of the animal through voice, signal, or other effective controls.

    Learn more about service animals in national parks. Learn more about accessibility at Mount Rainier National Park.

     

    Last updated: June 23, 2021

    Contact the Park

    Mailing Address:

    55210 238th Avenue East
    Ashford, WA 98304

    Phone:

    (360) 569-2211

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