Carbon River: Northwest Entrance - Visit Rainier

Carbon River: Northwest Entrance

The Carbon River entrance to Mount Rainier National Park is open year-round to foot traffic, but vehicle access is permitted only to the park entrance, via SR 165 through Wilkeson.

Please note the Fairfax Forest Reserve Road/Carbon River Road was reopened in May of 2020, but the entrance road to the parking lot is still closed to cars immediately after the bridge. You can park on the side of the road before the bridge and walk in.

This region of the Mount Rainier National Park is home to a unique ecosystem within the park – an inland temperate rainforest.  The area offers excellent recreation opportunities for hiking, backcountry camping and mountain biking as the Carbon River Road is one of the few places mountain bikes are allowed within the national park.

Access to scenic Mowich Lake, the deepest and largest lake inside the park is also accessed from this area.  Due to heavy snowfall, the road to Mowich Lake area is only open in the summer and closes in mid-October or with the first snowfall.

More information on the Carbon River Area


GPS Coordinates:  46.9950198, -121.9181358  |  Web
Open:  Year-round Region: Carbon River
Entrance Fee Information

Q: Can I purchase an America the Beautiful pass at the Carbon River entrance? 

A: The Carbon River Visitor Center is staffed and has limited passes for purchase. You can contact them for hours and availability at 360-829-9639.

Q: Is there a campground at Carbon River? 

A: The Ipsut Creek Campground is located 5 miles (8 km) from the Carbon River Entrance. Due to the 2006 flood the road is closed to vehicles; the campground is open to hikers with a wilderness camping permit