Saturday, March 29, 2008

Travel Overview

There are a lot of published and on-line travel guides to Mt. Rainier NP and the area, and everyone has a preference, so I'll just leave that to you to search for them. Any good bookstore should have a good selection and almost all of them have Web sites along with other on-line travel Web sites. And don't forget the National Park Service has great resources on the NPS Web site. Visiting the NP depends on several factors, but mostly which direction you're coming from, such as Portland, Seattle-Tacoma or Yakima.

To begin your visit you need to determine which places you want to visit as the Mt. Rainier NP has four quadrants each with their own entrance. There are connecting highways in and through the NP where you can circumnavigate three of the quadrants through the visitors center at Paradise, but this makes a very long day of driving, not including stops. An overview of the routes to the Mt. Rainier NP is available on the regional map (72 Kbytes PDF).

From Seattle to the northeast quadrant through the White River-Sunrise entrance is accessed via highway 410 from several routes from the Seattle-Tacoma area. The southeast quadrant through the Ohanapecosh entrance is accessed via highway 12 off Interstate 5. Either of the two eastern quadrants are also accessed via highway 410 from Yakima over Cayuse Pass and highway 12 over White Pass. The northwest quadrant to the Carbon River-Mowich Lake entrances is accessed via highway 165 through Carbondale. The southwest quadrant through the Nisqually entrance is accessed via highway 7 through Tacoma or Puyallup or north from highway 12 at Morton.

The southern half of the NP can be travelled between the Nisqually and Ohanapecosh entrances through the Mt. Rainier NP via Longmire and Paradise visitor centers via highway 706, which connects with highway 410 traversing the eastern half of the NP to highway 123 over Cayuse and Chinook passes. The Sunrise entrance is accessed off highway 123 for the normal season of July through September. You should visit the NPS Web page for Mt. Rainier NP and the Washington State Department of Transportation for additional information on roads and parking.

You can find links to more information and resources for Mt. Rainier NP.

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