With the arrival of snow in late October, Mount Rainier's beauty changes and so do its challenges. Visitors planning to travel to the park in winter should familiarize themselves with winter travel tips, road status, and be prepared for potential winter hazards.
Mount Rainier National Park is open all year, although in winter only two park entrances are open: the Nisqually Entrance, in the southwest corner of the park, and the Carbon River Entrance, in the northwest corner of the park. The Carbon River Road is closed to vehicles just inside the entrance due to flood damage. It remains open to bicycle and pedestrian traffic.
Most of Mount Rainier's roads are closed for winter. The road from Nisqually Entrance to Longmire is open year-round, but may close during extreme weather. During the winter season the road between Longmire and Paradise closes nightly, though it may also remain closed during the day due to extreme weather or high avalanche danger. The daily opening/closing status of the gate at Longmire is posted on Twitter at MountRainierNPS.
Longmire Gate Closure Schedule, Winter 2020-2021:
Make sure you're properly equipped for winter weather and travel before leaving home:
Metering Vehicles During Times of High Visitation
Follow Traction Requirements
As road and weather conditions change throughout the day, traction requirements may also change. Listen to Radio 1610-AM at Paradise for updates to changing road information and requirements. Always carry tire chains when driving in mountainous terrain in winter and spring. Traction tires or chains may be required at anytime in winter. Obey the posted traction requirement.
Note: Autosocks are allowed for passenger vehicles under 10,000 pounds as an alternative traction device for use when "Chains Required" signs are posted, in accordance with Washington Administrative Code (WAC) 204-24-035. Vehicles over 10,000 pounds must carry a second set of chains and use them whenever traction tires or chains are required.
Winter Driving Safety Tips
Last updated: April 12, 2021