Permits & Reservations



Do I need a permit or reservation to visit Mount Rainier?

To visit Mount Rainier National Park, you may need a permit or reservation, in addition to paying the park entrance fee, depending on your activity. To determine what you need ask yourself the questions below:


Special Use Permit Locations

Click on "View full screen" under the map for the best experience. Use the + or - toggle in the upper left corner of the map to zoom into an area. Use the tabs at the top of the map to switch between locations for weddings and film and still photography and locations for scattering ashes. A toggle on the lower left of the map will switch the view to summer versus winter locations (when this toggle is turned on drag the transition bar left to right to see the different locations available in the park in each season). You can also filter locations by specific location, area, or trail. 

NOTE: Much of the park closes during the winter and there are fewer permit locations available during the winter season. Check road conditions for current status. 
Map legends for special use locations for weddings, photography, and scattering ashes by point, general area, and trails.

Special Use Permit Locations Map Legend

Use the map above to search for locations for weddings, film and still photography, and scattering ashes that require a special use permit. Search for a location by:

  • Point, refers to a specific location in the park.
  • General Area, such as the Upper Mountain Area.
  • Mount Rainier Guest Services Operated Facility, such as the Paradise Inn.
  • Trails, indicated by black lines.
  • Green shaded areas for authorized locations to scatter ashes with a permit.
  • Tan shaded areas for locations where scattering ashes is prohibited except at specified roadside locations.

NOTE: Click on any these icons on the map, including trails and shaded areas, for more information.


Special Use Permits

Mount Rainier National Park, a recognizable national landmark with inspiring vistas and natural settings, is an ideal spot for a variety of special activities. Most special events and activities held within Mount Rainier National Park require a Special Use Permit. These permits are issued and approved only after National Park Service staff determine that the activity will not impair park values, resources, and visitor enjoyment.

A Special Use Permit is required for activities that provide a benefit to an individual, group, or organization, rather than the public at large and for activities that require some degree of management by the National Park Service in order to protect park resources and the public interest.

Please allow four weeks for the processing of permit applications. First Amendment applications will receive an application review within two business days.

Please read this legal notice regarding payment of fees by check.

For information on Special Use Permits or to email in your application, please contact the Special Use Permit Coordinator at or via phone at 253-307-6361. For Fee Waiver inquiries contact Applications accepted by email ONLY; no fax or mail-in applications.

Activities and events that require Special Use Permits include:


Permit for Organized Group Recreation

Organized gatherings of a group of people for recreation within the park may require a Special Use Permit. “Groups” are any organized gathering of people, including (but not limited to):

  • Clubs/meet-up groups
  • Church groups
  • Scouts
  • School groups
  • Mountaineering groups
  • Youth groups


Permit for Still Photography

All Still Photography requires a permit. “Still Photography” for permitting purposes is defined as the digital or film recording of a visual image by a person, business, or other entity for a market audience. This includes recordings such as those used for a documentary, television or feature film, advertisement, or similar project. Portrait subjects, such as wedding parties and high school graduates, are not considered models, if the image will not be used to promote or sell a product or service. 


Permit for Commercial Filming

All commercial filming requires a permit. "Commercial filming" means the film, electronic, magnetic, digital, or other recording of a moving image by a person, business, or other entity for a market audience with the intent of generating income. Examples include, but are not limited to, feature film, videography, and documentaries. Commerical filming may include the advertisement of a product or service, or the use of actors, models, sets, or props. 


Permit for Weddings

A permit is required for all wedding ceremonies held within Mount Rainier National Park. Most ceremonies in the park are brief and simple; elaborate ceremonies do not work well in the park’s natural setting. Weather in the park is unpredictable. At higher elevations such as Paradise and Sunrise, snow often remains on the ground well into July.


Permit to Scatter Ashes

Human ashes may be scattered in Mount Rainier National Park with a permit.


Permit for Military Activities

Special Use Permits are required for all military uses. Determining when and where military units may conduct activities within park areas is a discretionary decision made by the park superintendent.


Last updated: July 8, 2024

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