Mount Rainier Backcountry Application Process Begins March 15
Apply between March 15 and April 1 for backcountry camping reservations at Mount Rainier National Park. Photo by WildCelticRose.
Planning to hike all or part of the Wonderland Trail at Mount Rainier National Park this summer? How about a climb to our state's highest point? Or a weekend backpacking trip into Spray Park or Glacier Basin?
If you are hoping to overnight in the backcountry of Mount Rainier National Park - or climb the mountain - this summer, your best bet to set your own schedule and destinations is coming up soon.
The Mount Rainier Wilderness Information Center will take permit reservation applications between March 15 and April 1 for all trips through September 30.
Applications can be downloaded from Mount Rainier National Park's website and faxed or mailed to their office. The reservation fee is a flat $20 for up to 12 people and 14 consecutive nights. Application processing will begin in random order on April 1. Confirmation letters are usually sent by mid-May.
During this two-week period, the park usually receives between 500-700 requests. The key to securing your Mount Rainier permit reservation is flexibility. Include alternate dates and camps on your application. For camping in Mount Rainier's backcountry, you are required to indicate where you intend to camp each night - and only established camps are permitted.
Another way to improve your chances of securing a permit reservation is to select a weekday entry - or if attempting to complete the Wonderland Trail circuit, to avoid weekends in high-traffic, low-capacity campsites.
Mount Rainier fills 70 percent of its permit quota via advance reservation. Walk-ins are available throughout the summer, but have several options in mind or hope for a last-minute cancellation.