The 2023 Compendium details rules and regulations specific to Mount Rainier National Park.
The Code of Federal Regulations lists rules and regulations common to all National Park Service sites.
Highlighted below are certain laws and policies to take note of when visiting the park.
Masks optional in response to COVID-19 pandemic
Bicycle only on roads, not on trails. E-bikes are now allowed everywhere traditional bicycles are allowed in Mount Rainier National Park. This includes all park roads currently open to motor vehicles. E-bikes possessing a motor of less than 750 watts (1 h.p) on which the motor only assists with pedal propulsion are permitted on roads and trails that are currently open only to bicycles, including the Westside Road to Klapache Point and the Carbon River Road from the Carbon River Entrance to Ipsut Creek Campground. More about bicycling in the park.
Launching, landing, or operating an unmanned aircraft (drone) from or on lands and waters administered by the National Park services within the boundaries of Mount Rainier National Park is prohibited (36 CFR 1.5 (a)(1) Superintendent's Compendium).
This restriction is to protect the public from hazards and preserve the park's natural, aesthetic, and scenic values. The use of unmanned aircraft devices, such as Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) or drones, has the potential to interfere with public safety by posing an in-flight hazard to other legal aircraft use in the park. The use of these devices also has the potential to disrupt wildlife by interrupting migration, nesting, mating, and hunting activities to include, but not limited to protected species such as the Northern Spotted Owl, Marbled Murrelets, and Peregrine Falcon, as well as native birds and mammals. This restriction is in accordance with NPS Management Policy 8.2 which prohibits recreational uses that conflict with the scenic, natural, and historic values the park was designated to protect, and the associated activities in which individuals seek solitude and tranquility with an expectation of privacy. 97% of Mount Rainier National Park is designated Wilderness. Launching and landing of UAS's in the park can invite violations to the Wilderness Act, which prohibits the operation of motorized vehicles or mechanized transport.
As of February 22, 2010, a federal law allows people who can legally possess firearms under applicable federal, state, and local laws, to legally possess firearms in this park.
It is the responsibility of visitors to understand and comply with all applicable state, local, and federal firearms laws before entering this park. As a starting point, please visit the website for Washington State: Washington State Legislature: Firearms and Dangerous Weapons.
The federal law has no effect on existing laws and regulations regarding the use of firearms in national parks or hunting. Hunting and other uses of firearms is not allowed in Mount Rainier National Park. Federal law also prohibits firearms in certain facilities in this park; those places are marked with signs at all public entrances.
Frequently Asked Questions: Firearms in National Parks, Washington State National Park Units and the article Firearms in National Parks contains additional information.
Fires in the Park
Make fires only in established fire grills. Campfires are not allowed in the backcountry. Collecting firewood is prohibited. Firewood from other states or regions can bring in invasive pests that can damage or kill native forests. Please help mitigate the spread of invasive pests by buying local firewood and burning it where you buy it. Learn more about wildland fires.
Fishing and Boating
A license is not required for fishing. Some lakes and streams are closed to fishing. More about fishing in the park, including detailed regulations.
Motorized boating is prohibited. Non-motorized boating is permitted on all lakes except Frozen, Reflection, Ghost, Shadow, and Tipsoo lakes.
Marijuana on Federal Lands
Mount Rainier National Park would like to provide clarification regarding the use of possession of marijuana on Federal lands. The Washington State law, which allows for limited recreational marijuana use under certain conditions, has no bearing on Federal laws which continue to identify marijuana as a Schedule I illegal drug, and prohibit its use.
Possession of marijuana or use of any amount of marijuana is still prohibited in Mount Rainier National Park, its facilities, concessions, and campgrounds, and in the surrounding National Forest Lands. Violations are punishable by a fine of not more than $5,000.00 for an individual or $10,000.00 for an organization, or imprisonment for not more than six months, or both (16 U.S.C. 551, 18 U.S.C. 3559 and 3571).
Pets and Service Animals
Pets must be on leashes no longer than six feet, and are only permitted in picnic areas, campgrounds, parking lots, and roads currently open to public vehicles. Pets are not allowed in buildings, on trails, in the backcountry, or on snow. During hot weather do not leave pets in vehicles. Never leave pets unattended.
Service animals individually trained to perform certain tasks are allowed on trails and in park facilities only if they are providing a service for a disabled person. Service dogs-in-training are not service animals under ADA.
More about pets in the park.
Do not feed the wildlife. Help Keep Wildlife Wild by storing your food in an animal-proof container, or in your car. Do not leave food, beverages, pet food, or toiletries unattended for any length of time. Clean up picnic areas after you eat.
Black bears and mountain lions are also found in Mount Rainier National Park. Report all bear and mountain lion sightings to a ranger, and know how to safely deal with wildlife encounters.
For additional questions regarding laws & policies, contact the Chief Ranger's Office at 360-569-6612.
Last updated: November 24, 2023