Mount Rainier National Park Area Map
Weather is a major factor in planning a visit to Mount Rainier. It can snow as early as September and continue until May. The park requires that all vehicles carry tire chains when traveling in the park from Nov. 1 through May 1. This applies to all vehicles, even those with four-wheel drive, regardless of the weather conditions.
Hikers, especially those tackling Mount Rainier, always need to be prepared with proper food, clothing and supplies. It's never a good idea to rely solely on smartphones, as cell service can be spotty. Start your visit by picking up a map at one of the park's visitor centers.
There is plenty of wildlife in the park and while black bears and mountain lions are found here, you are unlikely to see them. Make sure you always secure your food and garbage, make plenty of noise as you hike and never approach a wild animal.
The park service actually sees thieves as more of a threat. According to the NPS, every year auto burglaries occur at trailheads and parking areas both inside and outside of the park. To avoid being a victim, make sure you don't leave any valuables in your car. If you want to leave anything in the trunk of your car, stow it before you arrive, as you could be watched at the trailheads and parking lots. For more safety tips, visit the NPS website.
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