Awilderness permit is required for all overnight campingin the wilderness of Mount Rainier National Park. Start planning your wilderness trip using the Wilderness Trip Planner.
Please Note:Those wishing toclimbabove 10,000 feet or onto any glaciersmust purchase a Climbing Pass. Climbers who wish to camp overnight must also get a Wilderness Permit in order to acquire a camp site.
It is recommended that you make a reservation to secure a wilderness permit. Your wilderness permit reserves you a specific wilderness camping site for the night you want to stay. Mount Rainier National Park has thousands of visitors during the peak summer months and backcountry camping sites can fill up quickly. About 70 percent of the available wilderness permits can be reserved while the remaining 30 percent are issued on a first-come, first-served basis.
How to Reserve a Wilderness Permit Updated: January 23, 2017
First, you will need to fill out a reservation request form. The reservation request form will go live on this page at 9:00 am Pacific Time on Wednesday, March 15, 2017.
The park starts accepting reservation requests on March 15th each year.
We do not accept reservations for trips starting after September 30. If your hike or climb starts after September 30, you must show up in the park in person and attempt to acquire a first-come, first-served permit.
Reservation requests will only be accepted through the online reservation request form which will go live on March 15, 2017. The park will not accept requests by standard mail, fax, phone, or other delivery methods.
Applicants will receive a confirmation of their electronic submission within one business day.
Park rangers will begin processing reservation requests on April 1. All requests received between March 15 and April 1 will be processed in random order. Requests arriving April 1 and after will be processed in the order in which they were received. Once park staff review requests, applicants will be updated via email regarding status.
Reservations cost $20 per party (1-12 people) per trip (up to 14 consecutive nights). Reservation fees are non-refundable. Applicants will not submit payment information until their reservation request is approved. If the wilderness permit reservation is approved, the confirmation email will also include a link to the secure online payment site, Pay.gov.
The park will review only one full-circuit Wonderland Trail trip request per email address. Each request allows applicants to submit several trip alternatives. If the park receives more than one full-circuit Wonderland trail request from the same email address, staff will only review the first request recieved. Applicants can still apply for more than one wilderness permit per email for destinations other than the Wonderland Trail.
Requests recieved in March, April, and May could take up to six weeks from the day received to process because of the large number of applications. During this initial two week period (March 15-31) the park will receive around 2,400 or more reservation requests. Each one is processed by hand with usually only 2 rangers assigned to this duty. It will be well into May before this initial batch of reservation requests are completed. You will get a confirmation of your electronic submission of the reservation request form within one business day, but it may take some weeks to get a status update email from park staff, depending on when your request is processed. As the season goes on and the initial pile of requests is whittled down, the park is able to process and reply to reservation requests in 1-2 days.
If your reservation request is successfully processed you will receive a confirmation email that shows your itinerary. Please note that this confirmation email is NOT your permit. You must come into a Ranger Station to get your permit. If we are not able to process your request you will receive an email stating why, and what your options are. If we cannot book a reservation for you, you will not be charged a reservation fee. If your reservation is approved, the email will contain a link to Pay.gov, a convenient and fast way to make secure electronic payments to Federal Government Agencies using credit cards, debit cards, and direct debit.
What you need to pick up your permit
After a visitor gets a reservation, the person named on the reservation must comeinto a Ranger Station to get the permit. Be sure to have the following information:
An emergency contact phone number
The license plate number of any vehicle being left overnight in the park
Tha make, model, and color of the vehicle
Also, please note that your reservations will be canceled by the park if you do not show up by 10:00 am on the day your trip begins. If you will be later than 10:00 am, you need to let the park know in advance. Once canceled, the camps you had reserved become part of the first-come, first-served pool of permits that other hikers will have the opportunity to use. You can pick up your permit one day before the day of scheduled departure, but no sooner than one day.
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.
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.
Tips for Getting a First-come, First-served Wilderness Camping Permit
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Tips for Getting a First-come, First-served Wilderness Camping Permit - Transcript
(music) Hi, I'm Daniel, and I'm a backcountry ranger at Mount Rainier National Park and I wanted to share a little information with you about the process of attempting to get walk-up permits this summer here at Mount Rainier. So the first thing you really need to do is start your work at home. It's best to come into the ranger station with your ideal itinerary written out on paper. It works better that way because if you wait until you come into the ranger station there is a lot more pressure, it's a lot more hectic, and at home it allows you to take the time to actually think about what it is that you want to do. The things that will really help you in the end is flexibility. You'll need to let the ranger know whether or not you'll consider hiking the trip in a clockwise or counter clockwise direction. Whether you'll consider starting at different locations if necessary. For example, the ranger might tell you that this won't work if you start at Longmire, but if you start at White River this will work. The other thing is, you need to consider the possibility of having alternate camps, because not every camp will be available necessarily for your trip. These are the kind of things that will really make your attempts to get a permit more successful this summer. Now having said that, in the end we may not be able to book your dream trip. It might be that there's even not the complete trip - it may be a partial trip. If that's the case, you need to decide really now whether or not you can live with that. In most cases though we are able to get something to work out for everyone who comes in to get a permit. Thanks for your time and have a great visit here at Mount Rainier this summer.
A wilderness permit is required in order to camp in the backcountry or wilderness of Mount Rainier National Park. About 30% of wilderness permits are available on a first-come, first-served basis. Ranger Daniel explains some tips to make your attempt to get a wilderness camping permit successful.
(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.