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The Wonderland Trail
encircling Mount Rainier


Mount Rainier

General Information    History    Volcanoes/Glaciers    Flora and Fauna    Weather
Hiking/Camping    Other Activities


Other Activities

Mountain Climbing
The first recorded climb to the summit of Mount Rainier was made in 1870 by Hazard Stevens and Philemon Beecher Van Trump from the south site of the mountain.  Each year, more than 4,500 people stand on the summit of Mount Rainier.  Climbers need to be in top physical condition, and have experience in glacier travel.  Climbers must register with a ranger before climbing and checkout upon returning.

Bicycles are allowed in the park on roads open to the public and roadways in the Campground.  Extreme caution needs to be exercised due to the very winding, narrow roads.  Bicycles, including mountain bikes are not permitted on any park trails.

Mountain bike enthusiasts are permitted to use the unpaved Westside Road for its entire length, including both the first three miles which are open to all vehicles, and the last ten miles which are open to hikers and cyclists (ending at Klapatche Point). Mountain bikers may also use the road behind the old campground in Longmire.

Due to the closure of Ipsut Creek Campgound to vehicles, bicycles are allowed to use the road from the Carbon River Entrance to the Campground.  Bicycles are not allowed on any trail leading from the campground.

September and early October are generally excellent times to visit Mount Rainier National Park to enjoy fall colors and fewer visitors, although many facilities and services are discontinued or reduced in scope after Labor Day. With fewer motor vehicles on the roads and cooler weather, this is often the best time for bicyclers until the snow flies.

Biking equipment in or near the park is very limited.  It would be wise to be equipped to make minor repairs on your own.

Fishing is permitted within the park and no license is required.  Non-motorized boats are permitted on park lakes.  Fishing regulations for the park are in accordance with those of the surrounding area waters of the State of Washington.  Be familiar with specific regulations for boating and fishing, a fishing regulation handout is available.

Mount Rainier National Park is not known for its fishing, so don't be disappointed if you fail to catch fish, or if the fish are small.  Only experienced anglers do well and then only during limited times of the season.

Park waters are not stocked, but depend on natural reproduction to replenish the fish population.  We encourage you to use barbless hooks and artificial lures and to release uninjured fish.

Most lakes are ice-free only July-October.  Lakes and ponds, open mid-April through late October.  Rivers, streams and beaver ponds, open late May/early June through late October.  Please check the Washington State Fishing Regulations for exact dates and more detailed information.

The Ohanapecosh River and its tributaries are open to fly fishing only.  The use of bait or other lures except artificial flies is not permitted.

Horses are permitted on nearly 100 miles of park trails.  Trails are most accessible from mid-July to September.  Neither saddle nor pack animals are permitted in auto campgrounds, picnic grounds or within 100 yards of trail shelters, backcountry campsites or above such sites and waterways, except where facilities are provided.

In the southwest corner of the park, snowmobiles are permitted for three miles along the Westside Road from its junction with the main park road as far as Fish Creek.  Beyond Fish Creek, the Westside Road is closed to motorized travel both winter and summer.   Snowmobiles are also permitted on all the road loops of Cougar Rock Campground.   The campground is closed to overnight use during winter and the roadway is left unplowed. Contact a park ranger at the Longmire Museum for maps and additional snowmobile information.

Snowmobiles are permitted on the 12-mile section of unplowed road from the North Park Boundary on Highway 410 to the White River Campground.  Be aware of avalanche danger and forecast.

Wilderness permits, required for all backcountry camping, and climbing registration cards are available at the north boundary arch on Highway 410 and the US Forest Service office in Enumclaw.