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Suggestions for Backpacking Permits in Mt Rainier

I'm organizing my friend group to backpack at Sun Rise entrance of Mt. Rainier.  Tried for permit to the 3 campsites.  Was able to secure 2 consecutive nites at Glacier Basin but nothing else.  How do I reserve 3 more nites?  Not going to drive with a group all the way up there for only 2 nights.  Any suggestions?

First time on this website and first time to Rainier.

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4 Replies

Hi @Kelley - Thanks for reaching out! 

We are hopeful some fellow community members will be able to weigh in with suggestions about permitting for Mt Rainier. @BlueLine@Philreedshikes@AM12588@hikermor - do you all have any info about permits that might be helpful to Kelley? 

At REI, we believe time outside is fundamental to a life well lived.

@Kelley - I'm assuming reservations are being made on  lacking a bit of info here, like dates desired and entrance area ( a entrance area), looks like the lottery was back in March and everything I looked at is full.  there are a lot of walk ups available, best bet is to call and talk to a back country ranger for advice.

unfortunately, most all NP's are totally booked up, as far as back-country camp sites are concerned.

If you just want to do Rainier, do your current nights then go back and try for a walk up permit for additional nights.

If you want to go backpacking, you might try some of the wilderness areas around there, beautiful and no permits required.

good luck

REI Member Since 1979

Hi Phil,

You sound like you know Rainier pretty well.  We're going Aug 22-28 (flexible),  So far, I've reserved a group site at Sunrise on 8/23, and then Glacier Basin 8/25 & 26.  Can't find anything close for 8/24.  I keep checking availability to see if something pops up.  My specific question is, do we hike back out and try for a walk-in for 8/24?  Maybe we stay at White River Campground on 8/24.   The website says you can only acquire walk-ins 1 day before you go.  What if you're already in the back country and you need another camp site?  One of the group has to hike out to get a permit?  


If you're not going to drive up there for only two nights, please give your permits back soon. There are many people who would be grateful to have what you are rejecting.

There are plenty of places to go backpacking with your group outside of a national park, which is almost always busy.