WHEN YOU GO
Getting There: Mount Rainier National Park is located in west central Washington, about 48 miles southeast of Tacoma. The park is about a two-hour drive from Seattle, Tacoma and Yakima in Washington, and a four-hour drive from Portland, Oregon. International airports are located in Seattle and Portland. Amtrak provides rail service with stops in Centralia, Tacoma, Seattle, Yakima, Ellensburg, East Auburn and Portland. Rental vehicles are available in Seattle, Tacoma, Yakima and Portland. The Nisqually Entrance on the southwest side of the park on Stateroad 706 is open year-round while the east and north entrances are open only during the summer.
Greyhound/Trailways provides bus service from the major cities, while Gray Line buses run to the park from mid-spring to mid-fall from Tacoma and Seattle. Shuttle service is available by Rainier Express and Rainier Overland.
Staying There: Two hotels are located within the park, both managed by Mount Rainier Guest Services. The National Park Inn at Longmire, built in 1917 and renovated in 1990, has 25 rooms, a full service restaurant and gift shops. The Paradise Inn at Paradise is open mid-May to mid-October. Built in 1917, it has 126 rooms, a full service restaurant and lounge, gift shop and snack bar. For information write to Mount Rainier Guest Services, P.O. Box 108, Ashford, WA 98304. Lodging is also available outside the park in Ashford, Packwood, Elbe and Greenwater.
There are six developed campgrounds providing almost 600 sites in the park: Cougar Rock, Ipsut Creek, Mowich Lake, Ohanapecosh, Sunshine Point and White River. For reservations write: National Park Reservation Service, P.O. Box 1600, Cumberland, MD 21502.
|Climbing: The majority of the 4,500 people who successfully climb
Rainier each year travel with guide services. One-day climbing instruction, two-day summit
climbs, and five-day climbing seminars are available through Rainier
Mountaineering, Inc., an authorized park concessionaire.
Climbing permits are required for travel on glaciers or above 10,000 feet. Minimum party size is two people, aged 18 or older or with parental permission. Permits are $15 per person and are available at ranger stations.
Various climbing guides and books are available, including The Guide Book for Mt. Rainier, by Mike Gauthier; Mt. Rainier Climbing Guide SM 20100, by Stanley Friedman; Challenge of Rainier: A Record of the Explorations and Ascents, Triumphs and Tragedies, by Dee Molenaar; The Measure of a Mountain: Beauty and Terror on Mount Rainier, by Bruce Barcott, Mountain Fever: Historic Conquests Rainier, by Aubrey L. Haines and Ruth Kirk, Sunrise to Paradise: The Story of Mount Rainier National Park, by Ruth Kirk; and Climbing Mount Rainier: The Essential Guide, by Fred Beckey.
Useful WWW links:
Mount Rainier National Park: camping, hiking, lodging, activities, maps, etc.
Rainier Mountaineering, Inc: guided climbs and training on Mt. Rainier
Mt. Rainier Climbers Guide: routes, regulations, tips, guide services, etc.
Return to Climbing Mount Rainier article.