Mount Rainier requiring reservations to enter

Mount Rainier requiring reservations to enter

(Pictured: The Ashford entrance to Mount Rainier National Park).

Depending on the time of day and year, getting into Mount Rainier National Park now requires a reservation.

The timed-entry reservations, as park officials are calling them, will be necessary from 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the Paradise (south) entrance via Ashford from May 24 to Sept. 2 and from July 4 to Sept. 2 at the Sunrise (northeast) entrance via Enumclaw. Standard entrance fees will apply.

The park has experienced about a 40 percent increase in visits over the last 10 years, leading to overcrowding during the summer and damage to fragile ecosystems, according to officials. So timed entries during the prime, busiest hours will be tried in the hope of reducing traffic congestion and overuse of trails, particularly in heavily visited areas such as Paradise.

Entering before 7 a.m. or after 3 p.m. doesn’t require a timed reservation. The park is open 24 hours a day. And some parts of the park don’t require a timed reservation at any time. They include:

Park entrance fees are $15 for pedestrians or bicyclists, $25 for motorcycles, $30 for private vehicles (cars and trucks), and $55 for an annual pass.

Adults 62 or older can buy annual passes for $20 or lifetime passes for $80.

Mount Rainier isn’t the only national park with timed entries or entry reservations. Others include Rocky Mountain in Colorado, Glacier in Montana, Arches in Utah, and Yosemite in California.