National Park Service eyes changes at Mount Rainier Park

May 5, 2023, 1:20 PM


Mount Rainier viewed from Eatonville near Mt Rainier National Park. (Photo by Thomas O'Neill/NurPhoto via Getty Images)

(Photo by Thomas O'Neill/NurPhoto via Getty Images)

The National Park Service (NPS) is considering timed entry for Mount Rainier National Park in a plan intended to address visitor experience, congestion, and resource issues.

NPS wants to focus on road tie-ups, parking, and pedestrian safety around Mount Rainier. It also wants to take care of the alpine meadows. Before it does so, it wants to hear from the public.

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The proposal would involve timed entry at the Nisqually, Stevens Canyon, and White River entrance stations.

The NPS said on its website:

The plan evaluates three alternatives which include actions that would proactively manage and pace the entry of vehicles into key areas of the park (including but not limited to Paradise and Sunrise). Potential actions include timed-entry reservation systems, parking permit systems, alternative transportation options, as well as improved wayfinding, signage, roadside scenic vista management, and development of trails.

Wait times to enter through the Nisqually and White River stations can take more than an hour in peak season.

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From 2008 to 2021, annual visitation rose from 1.1 million visits per year to above 1.7 million visits, with 70% of visits occurring between July and September.

NPS said comments could be submitted by clicking on “open for comment,” with entries being accepted through June 11.

A final decision will be made in 2023, with potential implementation proposed in summer 2024, according to NPS.

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National Park Service eyes changes at Mount Rainier Park