If you planning for Washington DC private tours, Mount Rainier is a good place you can consider visiting. Mount Rainier is the highest mountain in the Cascade Range as well as in Washington State. It is an active volcano that ascends up to 14,410 feet above the sea level. Since this mountain is located in high altitude, given below are certain factors that you need to note before you plan to visit Mount Rainier.
Due to its latitude and elevation, the weather patterns here may change often. Usually, the climate is rainy and cool, and during the summer, the temperatures can be in a range of 60 to 70 Degree Celsius. July and August months are the warmest; however, summer can even be cool and wet at times. Rain is very likely during fall, spring, and winter. Hence, it can be said that the weather is unpredictable here.
If you plan to go or hiking or mountain climbing, be prepared for the weather changes anytime. Always make sure to pay attention to the weather forecasts, special weather alerts, and avalanche warnings. In addition, you need to pack extra clothing, tent, and rain gear when planning the excursion.
Changes in weather can also affect the condition of roads drastically. Whichever be the season you travel to the Mount Rainier, you can call the park or check MountRainierNPS on Twitter for queries related to current road conditions. It can get extremely crowded in summer as well, and you may need to wait for a long time at the park’s entrance to get there; parking lot congestion is an issue too. So for avoiding the hassles, plan your journey ahead.
Operating Times and Seasons
The national park is open throughout the year. Peak visiting time is during the warmer months of July and August, and this is the time, when you can get the beautiful view of blooming wildflowers. If you plan to visit the park during these months, plan your trip on mid-week because that is usually a less crowded time. A good idea is to enter the park before 10:00 am or after 02:30 pm to avoid delays due to heavy visitation.
Furthermore, note that the weather will be a deciding factor of the facilities available in certain regions of the park during autumn and springtime. In winter, only the Nisqually Entrance is open, while the Carbon River Entrance is open only for bicycle and foot traffic.
Wilderness Hiking and Camping
If you are going for a day hiking, then you may not need any permits. However, for an overnight camping in the Mount Rainier, you need to get a permit. In summer, you can get permits from any ranger stations inside the park such as the Jackson Visitor Center at Paradise, Longmire Wilderness Information Center at Longmire, and the White River Wilderness Information Center at the White River Entrance.
During weekdays of winter, you can get it from the Longmire Museum, and on weekends, from the Jackson Visitor Center. Make sure to check their operating hours before making a visit.
Fees & Passes
An annual pass to the park comes at a price of $55 with unlimited entry and it is suitable if you visit the place many times a year. This pass covers entry fee at the park and refuges, and standard amenities fee at national forests. Other fee types include Mount Rainier “Per Person” Fee of $15, Mount Rainier Single Vehicle Fee of $30, Mount Rainier Motorcycle Fee of $25, Campground Fees of $20, and Campground Fees for Groups of $60.
Children below the age of 15 get free entry, while senior citizens can get up to 50% discounts. Military passes are available for current US military members including Army, Air Force, Navy, Coast Guard, and for the US Reserves and National Guard. For availing this, they may need to show a valid military ID proof.
Now that you know the conditions in Mount Rainier changes often, it is of utmost importance to be prepared and ensure maximum safety. Below are a few points to note.
- Before entering the park, make sure that you do not leave behind any important valuables like purses, bags, or backpacks in your vehicle.
- Since the mountain is an active volcano too, many geohazards are likely to happen. If you notice a rapid water rise or ground shaking, move up to a higher ground.
- The park is home to a range of wild animals, especially wild lions and black bears. Though encountering them is not likely, make sure that if it happens, you do not run away because that might prompt them to attack.
- While hiking, avoid avalanche-prone zones. Wear appropriate wool clothing to retain body heat, and adequate rain and wind protection apparels.
- For climbing the mountain, you must be either 18 years old or above, or else parent’s or guardian’s permission is required.