Plan Ahead to Be Prepared

Good to Know
  • Get food, water and gas before you go.
  • Drive slowly, mountain roads can be rough with gravel in many places. Some roads require high clearance vehicles. Gravel and windy roads take 2-3x longer than you might expect. Backcountry roads may require 10-20mph speeds.
  • Don’t depend on Google Maps, they can lead you astray. .
  • All vehicles are required to carry chains on mountain passes and inside Mt Rainier National Park, November 1 to May 1. 
  • Take extra food and water on hikes and in the car. Note when the last chance to gas up your vehicle.
  • Leave an itinerary with someone who is not going on the trip. Include when and where you’re going, what you intend to do, and when you expect to return. Check in with them at appointed times.
  • Know the trails. Take a map and don't depend on digital maps in the backcountry.
  • Best Bet: The Steven’s Canyon entrance is normally less busy and the access to Paradise from there is spectacular! Remember: In the summer, parking at Mt. Rainier can be a challenge on Saturdays and Sundays. Plan ahead to arrive at Sunrise or Paradise before 10am or after 4pm on those days. Sunrises and Sunsets are amazing! Cloudy days are perfect for trails and hikes. Weekdays are normally less crowded. On sunny weekends there can be up to a 60 minute wait line to enter the park at the Nisqually Entrance.