High Visitation

High Visitation Expected Throughout the Summer

At Mount Rainier National Park Park roads and facilities are open for the season. 

As we approach the July 4th holiday, Mount Rainier National Park is experiencing high visitation, creating long wait times at park entrance stations, heavy traffic on park roads, and congested parking lots- particularly on the weekends. Visitors to Mount Rainier National Park are encouraged to visit on weekdays and arrive in the early morning or late afternoon to avoid long waits at entrances and move easily to find a parking spot.

The park continues to work on ways to reduce congestion in heavily visited areas, such as testing various approaches to traffic flow at Paradise. Visitors are reminded that overflow parking is available at the Paradise Picnic Area (within walking distance to the Visitor Center, on the right as you approach Paradise) and along Paradise Valley Road. At Sunrise, when the parking area is filled to capacity, incoming vehicles are held at the White River Entrance Station and allowed to proceed only when parking spots become available by vehicles departing the lot. Visitors are asked to be mindful not to block driveways of neighboring residences and businesses along SR706 in Ashford. Visitors who typically enter via the park’s southwestern entrance near Ashford may also consider the southeastern entrance near Packwood as a shorter-wait alternative on busy weekends during July and August.
As wait times increase to enter the park each summer weekend, visitors are encouraged to break up their trip by visiting the public restroom in Elbe on SR706 at the WSDOT-managed Safety Rest Area. In addition, visitors with children may enjoy letting them stretch their legs at the Ashford County Park located at 29801 SR706 in Ashford. The 80-acre park has walking trails, a playground with a large play structure, balancing elements, infant swings, and regular swings.  There is plenty of parking, and public restrooms are located next to the playground.
As of Friday, June 28, most park facilities and roads are open for the summer, including roads to Sunrise and to Mowich Lake. A complete listing of the current park road status and facility hours can be found on the park website, www.nps.gov/mora. In addition, visitors may access updated road status information on Facebook and Twitter (see links below). Starting this week, the park will begin tweeting more frequent wait time information on holidays and during the weekends to assist visitors with trip planning.
“There are incredible experiences throughout the park and the surrounding areas,” said Chip Jenkins, Mount Rainier National Park Superintendent. “By planning your trip to avoid peak congestion times, you may find that you spend less time looking for parking and more time enjoying the park.”
Park information, announcements, and the Mount Rainier webcams are posted on the park’s official website, nps.gov/mora.