Wilderness Permits

Several backpackers with large packs hike along a trail through a meadow.

NPS/Kevin Bacher

 

Get Your Permit

March 25, 2016: Mount Rainier will not be offering reservations for wilderness camping or climbing for the 2016 season. More information in the news release. Read below on how to attempt to get a first-come, first-served permit.

A wilderness permit is required for all overnight camping in the wilderness of Mount Rainier National Park. Please Note: Those wishing to climb above 10,000 feet or onto any glaciers must purchase a Climbing Pass. Climbers who wish to camp overnight must also get a Wilderness Permit in order to acquire a camp site.

 

How to Acquire a First-come, First-served Permit

  • These permits can be issued the same day your trip starts, or up to one day before your trip starts, but no sooner than one day.
  • The only way to acquire a first-come, first-served permit is by coming to a Ranger Station in the park and attempting to get the permit, which is subject to availability.
  • Remember to bring:
    • An emergency contact phone number
    • The license plate number of any vehicle being left behind in the park
    • The make, model, and color of the vehicle
  • First-come, first-served permits cannot be issued over the phone.
  • There is no fee for a first-come, first-served permit.

The first-come, first-served permit was not available when I tried to get it.

I want to get a first-come, first-served permit for Summerland on July 15, but when I get to the Ranger Station they tell me there are no more permits for that night. How is this possible?

Scenario 1: Other parties may have gotten the permits before you that very same day (or one day before) from any Ranger Station in the park.

Scenario 2: Let's say you want Summerland on the night of July 15. You show up at a Ranger Station that has the earliest opening hours only to find the permits are gone. How is this possible?

A party may have come into the Ranger Station on July 13 to get a first-come, first-served permit to do a four day hike. Their permit looks like this:

July 13 Sunrise Camp
July 14 Glacier Basin Camp
July 15 Summerland Camp
July 16 Indian Bar

Summerland Camp has been obtained by this party for the night of July 15, the same night you are attempting to get that campsite.

 
The Wonderland Trail winding through old-growth forest near Box Canyon.

NPS/Daniel Keebler

 

Find a Ranger Station

In the summer, Ranger Stations where you can acquire permits are:

  • The Longmire Wilderness Information Center at Longmire.
  • The Jackson Visitor Center at Paradise.
  • The White River Wilderness Information Center at the White River Entrance.
    Note: The Visitor Center at Sunrise does not process permits. The closest location to get a permit is the White River Wilderness Information Center.
  • The Carbon River Ranger Station located 2.5 miles before the Carbon River Entrance.
    Note: There is no Ranger Station at Mowich Lake. The closest Ranger Station is the Carbon River Ranger Station.

In the winter, permits are available at the Longmire Information Center every day and the Jackson Visitor Center on weekends. Self-registration is available at the Carbon River Ranger Station, Ohanapecosh Ranger Station, and at the Highway 410 entrance arch at the park's north boundary. Learn more about winter camping.

Most Ranger Stations are open seasonally, so make sure to check their hours of operation.

 

Tips for Getting a First-come, First-served Wilderness Camping Permit

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A wilderness permit is required in order to camp in the backcountry or wilderness of Mount Rainier National Park. Wilderness permits are available only on a first-come, first-served basis in 2016. Ranger Daniel explains some tips to make your attempt to get a wilderness camping permit successful.

Contact the Park

Mailing Address:

55210 238th Avenue East
Ashford, WA 98304

Phone:

(360) 569-2211
Callers to this general park line can choose from a menu that includes recorded information as well as opportunities to talk to a ranger at one of the park's administration or visitor centers. Rangers are only available to answer calls during business hours.

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