South of Seattle is Mount Rainier National Park, home to the colossal Mount Rainier. This national park features the majestic Mount Rainier mountain that towers over all of its surroundings, marvelous green forests, wonderful waterfalls, and much more. The cost to enter Mount Rainier is broken up as:
- Non-commercial Car: $30
- Non-commercial RV :$30
- Non-commercial Motorcycle : $25
- Individual People (Pedestrian, Bicyclist, Hiker) : $15
The fee you pay to enter Mount Rainier goes directly towards helping the national park. Eighty percent of your fee will help park rangers with maintaining all of the hiking trails, cleaning and maintaining the park facilities, improving and expanding park programs, building on park historical projects, and more. Without these additional funds the park would fall behind on its budget as millions of people visit the park every year. The other twenty percent of your entrance fee goes to other national parks to assist with similar projects.
To pay for the entrance pass just drive up to the entrance stations for Mount Rainier National Park. There you will be greeted by a park ranger and they will hand you a park map and the entrance pass.
Can I buy the entrance pass online?
If you want to pay for the park entrance pass and have it ready upon entry you can buy it online at Recreation.gov. Just search for Mount Rainier National Park and pay there. Once you pay you will receive an email confirmation with an attached document which is your entrance pass. Print out the pass to present to a park ranger.
How long is my entrance pass valid for?
The entrance pass for Mount Rainier National Park and all national parks are valid for a full seven days. The entrance pass allows you to enter and exit the national park freely for seven straight days. Just present your park entrance pass upon reentry. The entrance pass is non shareable and non refundable.
Are there ever any days where its free to enter Mount Rainer National Park?
The national park service celebrates six days out of the year and offers park visitors a fee free entrance. These six days generally see a significant increase in park visitors so plan for possible traffic entering the park and more busier trails. These days are a great way to celebrate with the national park service and save money on your entrance fee! The six days of celebration are:
- Birthday of Martin Luther King Junior (January 20th)
- First day of National Park Week (April 18th)
- Great American Doors Act Passage (August 5th)
- National Park Service Birthday Celebration (August 25th)
- National Public Lands Day (September 26th)
- Veterans Day ( November 11th)
Are there any ways to save money on the entrance fee?
If you cannot visit the national parks on one of the free entrance days, then there are several options the national park service provides for you to save money depending on your demographic. The four ways you can save money are the America the Beautiful Annual Pass, the Fourth Grader Annual Pass, Active Duty Military Annual Pass, and the Senior Passes. These options are a great way to save money on your park entrance fee.
America the Beautiful Annual Pass: $80
For just $80 you can purchase the America the Beautiful Annual Pass. This pass allows you to enter all national parks and federal lands for free for a full twelve months. To obtain this pass just request one from the park ranger and you will be given a physical card. This card needs to be presented when you visit other national parks. This is a great deal if you are planning on visiting at least three national parks in a twelve month time frame, so it is a good idea if you are planning many national park visits in the same year!
Fourth Grader Annual Pass: Free!
An alternative for parents of fourth grade students in the US is the free annual pass. The Every Kid Outdoors initiative created a pass for all fourth graders within the US to have a free pass. To get this pass register for it at EveryKidOutdoors.gov. From there just sign up for a pass, get the confirmation and print out the pass to present to a park ranger. This pass was designed to help inspire the future generations to build a love for the great outdoors by visiting all the national parks and federal lands for free!
US Active Duty Military Annual Pass: Free!
For those of you that are active duty in the US Military, the national park service provides a free annual pass. To get this pass bring your active duty military badge and present it to the park ranger at the Mount Rainier entrance station. The park ranger will give you an annual pass that is valid for twelve full months. Once that twelve month passes and you are still active duty, just repeat the process to get a new annual pass. This pass allows you and your passengers to enter all national parks and federal lands for free for a year!
Senior Annual Pass or Lifetime Pass: $20 or $60
Seniors have the opportunity to purchase either a lifetime pass or annual pass. The lifetime pass is just $60 and allows seniors and their passengers enter all national parks and federal lands for free for the rest of your life! If you only plan on visiting national parks for a year of outdoor adventure then the annual pass for $20 is also a great deal. This pass is valid for a full twelve months until expiration.
Mount Rainier National Park is worth every penny of the entrance fee. This park is filled with hundreds of miles of hiking trails, beautiful views of Mount Rainier, gorgeous green forests, and a lifetime of outdoor memories. This is a must visit park when you are visiting the Pacific Northwest!