How to Get to Mount Rainier From Seattle…or Tacoma

Mount Rainier National Park is located about 50 miles southeast of Puget Sound (Seattle and Tacoma).  It is home to Washington’s highest peak and one of the worlds most dangerous volcanoes; Mount Rainier.  Despite being only 50 miles from the Puget Sound metro area, it can be a slow drive to the park as there are no major freeways going in that direction.  To get there you will need to take state highways that are scattered with stoplights and filled with traffic.  The drive from Tacoma or Seattle can take anywhere from 1.5 hours to 2 hours depending on traffic.


There are two entrances into the park, one at State Highway 706 to the south and the other at State Highway 410 to the north.  You can enter at either side, spend the day in the park (or longer) and come out at the other end.  Navigating the park is easy as there is only one route that takes your from either end with numerous places to stop off.


Within the park you can get food and lodging but you CANNOT get gas inside the park.  So fill up in Ashford on the south side or Enumclaw on the north side.  Also, there are restrooms and drinkable water at most places of interest along the road.

Price and Hours:

There is a $15 dollar fee at the gate for all motor vehicles.  Bicyclists, motorcyclists and pedestrians are only charged $5 per day.  Each pass is good for 7 days.

Major Sites:

  • Mount Rainier
  • Paradise 
  • Skyline Trail
  • Grove of the Patriarchs 
  • Sunrise
Daniel Royse Written by:

Daniel Royse is the founder and editor in chief of the online travel publication, This Boundless World. He has written numerous articles on travel, business and politics and has recently completed his first full-length novel titled The Watermelon King. Daniel is an obsessive writer and explorer who has backpacked to over 50 countries, spanning five continents. To the disbelief of many, he still enjoys long, hot bus rides through chaotic places. More information about The Watermelon King can be found at