- Season: Late summer till the first frost
- Mushroom Varieties: chanterelles, matsutake, boletus, morels, shaggy mane, pig’s ear, hen-of-the-woods, brain mushrooms
Dozens of good edible mushroom species begin to appear in late summer. Most species need the first fall rains to come before they appear. Some species wait until the first frosts. As is well-known mushrooms can be poisonous, so mushroom hunters need to have positively identified species before picking. The woods and valleys around Lewis County on the southern side of Mt. Rainier National Park boast varieties such as chanterelles, matsutake (pine mushrooms) and some species of boletus. Others such as shaggy manes, brain mushrooms (false morels), hen-of-the-woods and pig’s ear are common as well. It is important for everyone to be aware of property ownership. The Gifford Pinchot and Mt. Baker-Snoqualmie National Forests, as well as the Department of Natural Resources, may require a permit for limited collections. Permit info here.
Non-commercial mushroom picking is allowed within the National Park, up to two quarts per person per day. Mushroom collecting tip: the hike between Narada Falls and Longmire is the best area for locating edible fungi.